Over the last several decades, U.S. corn growers have forged a very important relationship with the people of Mexico. Thanks to the North American Free Trade Agreement and, later, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, Mexico has become our top market for corn exports on average.
Texas farmers and our rural communities have also benefited from these agreements.
But a recent decree is threatening to upend this crucial and mutually beneficial relationship. On February 13, 2023, the Mexican government banned the import and use of biotech corn for many food uses, effective immediately. The order allowed for biotech feed corn imports conditionally, but only until a substitute is available.
We want to continue working with our friends in Mexico to ensure a responsive marketplace, but government interventions will not achieve the stated goals. Mexican industry, not the Mexican government, should lead efforts to buy more non-biotech.
The move is causing uncertainty for farmers here in the Lone Star State and is a flagrant violation of USMCA.
The ban raises all sorts of concerns not just for U.S. farmers and rural economies, but also for the people of Mexico. According to a study by World Perspectives, Inc., the decree would raise tortilla prices in Mexico by 40% in the first year and 16% over time.
Given that this decree is both unreasonable and in violation of an international agreement signed by Mexican President López Obrador himself, we call on the Biden administration to initiate a dispute settlement consultation with Mexican trade and legal counterparts under USMCA.
We hope the Biden administration acts fast, as we need this issue resolved sooner rather than later. The economic wellbeing of Texas farmers, families and communities depends on promoting market access for the country’s number one agricultural export. With some 40% of the Mexican population living below the poverty line, a swift resolution is beneficial for them too.
You can make your voice heard on this issue by contacting your members of Congress and asking them to weigh in with the Biden administration on this issue. To ensure you’re signed up for all our advocacy alerts, Text “COB” to 52886.