LatinNews Daily - 24 January 2023

In brief: Mexico-US tensions continue over GM corn ban

*Representatives from the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) have met with Mexican government officials regarding “grave concerns” over President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s plans to phase out imports of genetically modified (GM) corn. The visit follows a trip by US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack at the end of November. After meetings in Mexico City (CDMX), the USTR and USDA officials released a statement expressing appreciation for the “active engagement between US and Mexican government officials” on the matter and “the proposed modifications… shared by Mexico at the end of 2022”. This is in reference to Mexico’s offer to extend the deadline on the import ban from January 2024 to 2025. However, the statement went on to say that “these changes are not sufficient”, adding that Mexico’s GM corn ban “is not grounded in science” and “threatens to disrupt billions of dollars in bilateral agricultural trade” and cause “serious economic harm” to US and Mexican farmers. The US officials ended the statement by reiterating that the US would consider “taking formal steps to enforce our rights under the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement [USMCA]” if the matter is not resolved. 

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