Mexico threatens US corn imports

November 30, 2022

Mexico’s import ban would cause both massive economic losses for Mexico’s agricultural industries and citizens, as well as place an unjustified burden on U.S. farmers.

United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack after meeting with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Mexico – which imports corn from the U.S. – plans to ban genetically modified corn in 2024.

Important Context: The U.S. produces about a third of the world’s corn crop each year; Mexico is the second-biggest importer of U.S. corn (China is first). More than 90% of U.S. corn is genetically modified. Corn is a common ingredient in foods, including things like soft drinks (corn syrup), tortilla chips, and breakfast cereals.

Why It Matters: Mexico – which has a significant trade relationship with the U.S. – proposed a ban on genetically modified corn by 2024, citing adverse health effects and potential to contaminate native Mexican corn. The U.S. has pushed back, with Vilsack stating that the move could “have significant impact on the U.S.-Mexico trade relationship” and that the U.S. would “enforce our legal rights under the USMCA” if necessary (USMCA = U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement). Vilsack and Mexico’s president met on Monday; talks remain ongoing.

U.S. threatens legal steps over Mexico’s planned GMO corn ban (Reuters)

U.S. Threatens Mexico Over Genetically Modified Corn Ban (The Wall Street Journal)

by Jenna Lee,