Saturday, April 1, 2023

Mexico defends corn decree before new US consultation in the T-MEC

The Mexican government defended its decree that prevents the import of transgenic corn for human consumption despite the commercial consultations that Washington began this Monday under the Treaty between Mexico, the United States and Canada (T-MEC).

The Ministry of Economy (SE) warned in a statement that “Mexico will take advantage of this mechanism provided for in the T-MEC to demonstrate with data and evidence that there has been no commercial impact and that, on the contrary, the decree is consistent with the decree itself. treaty”.

“This request, therefore, is not of a contentious nature, but rather a preliminary stage in which a solution is sought in a cooperative manner,” said the SE.

The Mexican government thus responded to the statement in which, hours before, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), Katherine Tai, warned of measures if this dispute is not resolved because “Mexico’s policies threaten to interrupt thousands of billion dollars in agricultural trade.

While the US Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, opined that Mexican policies “are not based on science, which is the basis of the T-MEC.”

But the Mexican Ministry of Economy reiterated that the objective of the decree, published on February 13, “is to preserve that the tortilla is made with native corn, thus ensuring the conservation of the biodiversity of the more than 64 breeds of corn that exist in the country, of which 59 are endemic.

Controversy arose last year over Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s intention to ban imports of GM corn from the United States by 2024 because he considers it harmful.

After negotiations, the Mexican government suspended the ban on imports of transgenic corn for livestock, but maintained the blockade for human consumption.

“The Secretary (of the Economy of Mexico) Raquel Buenrostro Sánchez; The head of the USTR, Ambassador Katherine Tai, and her teams have been holding constructive dialogues with a view to finding solutions that provide certainty to the interested parties, ”said the SE.

Mexico’s response will be in charge of the Ministry of Economy, the Federal Commission for Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris) and “other relevant authorities” to “find a mutually satisfactory solution.”

The dialogue on corn opens another front for Mexico in the T-MEC, since last July the United States and Canada began consultations on the energy policy of López Obrador, accused of hindering foreign investment to favor state companies.

This mechanism is established in the T-MEC, in force since July 2020, as a dialogue phase to avoid a dispute resolution panel.


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