Canada & US Call for Mexican Corn, Energy Relief


Washington and Ottawa are applying pressure on Mexico to permit broader geneticaly modified seed sales, as well as to encourage the liberalization of Mexican energy markets.

United States Trade Representative and Canada have requested technical consultations with the Government of Mexico under the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) Chapter of the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA).  These consultations regard certain Mexican measures concerning products of agricultural biotechnology,  and have one month to reach a resolution.

Mexico published a presidential decree on genetically modified (GM) corn in late 2020, saying it would ban GM corn in the diets of Mexicans and end the use the herbicide glyphosate by Jan. 31, 2024.  President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said GM seeds can contaminate Mexico's age-old native varieties and has questioned their impact on human health.

Canada, while not a major corn exporter, is reportedly concerned about Mexico putting arbitrary prohibitions on agriculture produced using biotechnology.

Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry Committee Ranking Member John Boozman (R-AR): “Trade agreements are meaningless if our partners refuse to abide by them. Mexico’s attempts to ban U.S. biotech corn is a clear-cut example of a partner going back on its word… Ambassador Katherine Tai and her team ought to be commended for standing up for American farmers and taking the necessary actions to hold Mexico to the agreement they signed.”

Energy Industry Lobbies USTR

Mexico has yet to take meaningful steps to address the energy policy issues raised by the US, the American Petroleum Institute, American Clean Power Association and National Association of Manufacturers wrote in a letter Friday to US Trade Representative Katherine Tai. Mexican electrical utility CFE and state-owned Pemex benefit from policies both the US and Canada contend violate the terms of the USMCA.


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