Calls from corn grower leaders are growing louder for the United States Trade Representative to intervene in a trade dispute with Mexico over corn imports.
The response from corn growers comes as Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s promises to enact a decree that would end imports of corn grown using biotech and certain herbicides by 2024. Biotech corn makes up over 90% of U.S. corn crops.
An opinion piece by NCGA President Tom Haag was published over the weekend in The Hill, a newspaper widely read by Congress and other Washington decision-makers, calling on USTR to file a settlement dispute under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement over the matter.
“If the decree is enacted, the negative impact will be felt by farmers in the U.S. and by the people of Mexico,” Haag noted. “We’re now looking to the Biden administration to intervene to ensure that corn exports to Mexico don’t come to a sudden stop.”
NCGA has been at the forefront of this issue. In a major Reuters article published in September, NCGA also called on USTR to intervene in the dispute.
A USMCA dispute settlement would allow for extensive debate and mediation and would head off a calamitous outcome.
Noting bags of seed purchased this fall will be in grain channels as late as 2025, Haag says that Mexico’s demands are not only a non-starter, but that they would also have to be made years in advance.
“We need USTR to act soon and the problem to be resolved quickly, because while some might think the clock is ticking, in reality, we’re already out of time,” he says.