Mexico’s planned 2024 GMO corn ban and Canada’s tariff barriers to U.S. dairy remain trade irritants as the three nations’ leaders met in Mexico City this week. It was another “three amigos summit” for the leaders of the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, with trade on their plates as agricultural trade issues continued to fester despite the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement—USMCA.
The U.S. was seeking new dispute settlement talks with Canada on its dairy tariff-quotas and Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, ahead of Biden’s Mexico trip, spoke with U.S. Trade Ambassador Tai on Mexico’s GMO corn ban counterproposal.
“I did have a conversation with Ambassador Tai, and I think we are on track to provide a response at some point in time in the near future, to Mexico. And then, based on our final analysis and their response, we’ll take the next steps as appropriate, but we’re not quite there, yet.”
Vilsack met with top Mexican officials and with Mexico’s president ahead of Biden’s trip and warned that the U.S. will bring a USMCA dispute settlement case against Mexico if needed.
But with hundreds of millions of bushels of Iowa corn to Mexico threatened, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley had this; “They may think that they’ll be able to talk through this, but they aren’t going to be able to. They’ve got to use a sledgehammer, and that’s the dispute process within the USMCA.”
Almost three billion dollars a year, on average, or a quarter of U.S. corn exports went to Mexico during the last ten years, including almost $5 billion in 2021 alone.