WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: U.S. Requests USMCA Dispute Settlement Consultations on Mexico’s Agricultural Biotechnology Measures

June 09, 2023

WASHINGTON – United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai last week requested dispute settlement consultations with Mexico under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). These consultations provide an opportunity to resolve a dispute regarding certain Mexican measures concerning products of agricultural biotechnology. These measures are not based on science and threaten to disrupt American exports of agricultural products to Mexico, including corn, thereby harming American farmers.
Elected officials and industry leaders alike praised Ambassador Tai’s actions and USTR’s ongoing commitment to defend the interests of America’s farmers and producers.
Read more about what they are saying:
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08): “As America’s second-largest export market for corn, Mexico has an opportunity during these consultations to show the world that it will honor its trade commitments by following the science and lifting its baseless restrictions on American-grown corn. I raised these issues directly to President López Obrador during our meeting in March, and believe he understands just how important this issue is to our farmers and agriculture.”
House Subcommittee on Trade Chairman Adrian Smith (NE-03): “We must always hold our trade partners to their commitments…I look forward to working with the administration to ensure Mexico abides by the commitments they made under USMCA.”
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-08): “I voted for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement because it gives us the tools to ensure fair trade for Michigan farmers and growers. I applaud Ambassador Tai for taking further enforcement action to hold Mexico to its commitments. Michigan and American farmers deserve the assurance that they will be able to sell their products in the global marketplace without being unfairly discriminated against by Mexico. In Congress, I will keep fighting for Michigan farmers to be able to sell their products across the world."
Congressman Mark Alford (MO-04): Trade Rep. Katherine Tai’s announcement today requesting a dispute settlement with Mexico under the USMCA is great news for corn farmers everywhere! Their unscientific ban on ag biotech and US corn is detrimental to our markets. I hope to see this issue resolved immediately!”
Senator John Boozman (AR):  “The U.S. negotiated the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in good faith, and we expect each party to the agreement to honor its terms. Unfortunately, the Mexican government has adopted policies inconsistent with USMCA, not grounded in science and detrimental to U.S. farmers. I appreciate the steadfast efforts of Ambassador Katherine Tai, Doug McKalip and the Office of the USTR as they work to hold Mexico’s feet to the fire on this matter.”
Senator Deb Fischer (NE): “This is yet another important step towards preventing Mexico’s flagrant violation of USMCA. As I’ve said repeatedly, we should use every tool at our disposal to stop this unscientific and economically damaging ban on genetically modified corn from ever being enacted. Such a ban would be bad for family farmers, bad for Mexican consumers, and bad for the stability of our international trade agreements.”
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall: “AFBF appreciates U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai for bringing a case against Mexico over its ban of bioengineered corn. Unfortunately, Mexico’s President Obrador continues to ignore science and the framework of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement. The import ban hurts families in Mexico who rely on the safe and affordable food grown by America’s farmers. We encourage Ambassador Tai and Secretary Vilsack to continue pressing forward to ensure Mexico lives up to its obligations under USMCA by allowing fair trade from the United States.”
National Corn Growers Association President Tom Haag: “Mexico’s actions, which are not based on sound science, have threatened the financial wellbeing of corn growers and our nation’s rural communities. We are deeply appreciative of Ambassador Katherine Tai and USTR for moving this process forward and thankful for the efforts of Secretary Tom Vilsack and members of Congress for standing up for farmers in such a meaningful way.”
U.S. Grains Council: "We are very thankful to Ambassador Tai for taking this important and necessary step with our number one importer of U.S. corn…The U.S. Grains Council strongly supports the U.S. government’s action today as the decree explicitly bans the export of biotech white corn to Mexico and we appreciate U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack for always insisting that genetically modified crops are science-based, sound and safe.”
Biotechnology Innovation Organization Vice President for International Affairs, Nancy Travis: “BIO thanks U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai for taking this action today and all the USTR and USDA officials for their diligent work throughout the technical consultations phase…It is BIO’s hope that the consultations will resolve this matter and return Mexico to a science-based, transparent and predictable regulatory pathway for innovative agricultural products.”