The United States announced on Monday the start of technical consultations with Mexico within the new North American free trade agreement (T-MEC) due to the Latin American country’s intention to veto imports of transgenic corn for human consumption.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, warned in a statement that will take action against Mexico to enforce the treaty if this dispute is not resolved.
“Mexico’s policies threaten to disrupt billions of dollars in agricultural trade and damage the innovation needed to face the climate crisis and food security challenges,” Tai criticized in the statement on Monday.
The controversy originated last year due to the intention of the Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, to ban imports of GM corn from the United States by 2024 because it is considered harmful to health.
After several negotiations, the Mexican government agreed to allow imports of transgenic corn for livestock, but maintained the blockade on corn for human consumption.
The T-MEC, launched in 2020 by the United States, Mexico and Canada, establishes that a country can initiate technical consultations with another when it considers that its policies are negatively affecting free trade.
If both parties do not reach an agreement, The T-MEC provides for the opening of a dispute panel and independent arbitration.
“If these issues are not resolved, we will consider all options, including taking formal steps to enforce America’s rights under USMCA,” warned the US trade office, which said it had expressed to Mexico “repeatedly serious concerns” on this issue.
In December of last year, A delegation from the Mexican government met in Washington with senior officials of the US Executive to try to close an agreement on corn.
Finally, on January 30, the Government of Joe Biden sent a formal request to Mexico to obtain an explanation of its intention to veto transgenic corn and received a response from the Executive of Andrés Manuel López Obrador on February 14.
The Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, Tom Vilsack, expressed in the statement on Monday his desire to “strengthen” commercial ties with Mexico, but he opined that the policies of the neighboring country “are not based on science, which is the basis of the T-MEC”.
“The intention of the Government of the United States is that through this process we can reach a result that respects the sovereignty of each country and benefits the United States, Mexico and our farmers,” said the trade office.
Since the implementation of the T-MEC, at least 17 commercial disputes have been openedsome of them quite famous.
The United States and Canada have come together to open a round of consultations to determine if Mexico’s energy policy is discriminatory against US and Canadian companies.
EFE International news agency based in Madrid and present in more than 110 countries.