The U.S. Trade Representative today requested a panel formation under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement over Mexico’s decision to ban imports of biotech corn used for human consumption.
Leaders at the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) said they are highly supportive of the move.
“Mexico’s decree, which runs counter to scientific findings and is in direct violation of USMCA, is negatively impacting American corn growers,” said NCGA President Tom Haag. “U.S. officials have exhausted every avenue trying to resolve this conflict and are left with no other choice but to turn to a third-party panel in hopes of quickly rectifying this issue. We are deeply appreciative of USTR for standing up for America’s corn growers.”
If USTR’s request is granted, a group of objective experts will be empaneled to hear the case and make a final determination based on the commitments both parties signed as part of the free trade agreement.
The dispute stems from a 2020 decree by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador that sought to ban imports of biotech corn beginning in January 2024. Mexico issued a revised decree in February of this year that banned biotech corn for human consumption effective immediately and left the door open for a future ban on biotech corn for feed.
Mexico is a top market for corn, the number one agricultural export from the U.S., which has led to strong concerns over how the ban would impact U.S. farmers, rural economies and food security for the people of Mexico.
Given the high stakes, NCGA and corn grower leaders across the country began sounding the alarm last fall and have been calling on the Biden administration to initiate a dispute settlement under USMCA.