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Mexico-US GM corn formal consultations fail


Specialists consider a ban might impression international corn commerce

calendar icon 5 June 2023

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Mexico mentioned on Friday it will counter US arguments over agriculture biotech measures, together with plans to restrict its use of genetically modified (GM) corn, in commerce dispute settlement consultations requested by Washington earlier within the day, Reuters reported.

The session request comes because the North American neighbours inch towards a full-blown commerce dispute below the US-Mexico-Canada Settlement (USMCA) over Mexico’s insurance policies to restrict using GM corn, which it imports from the US.

If the consultations fail to resolve disagreements inside 75 days, Washington can request a dispute settlement panel to determine the case.

Mexico mentioned it was dedicated to “constructive dialogue” relating to US considerations and to “attain a mutually passable settlement.”

Requested if Canada would take comparable motion to the US, a spokesperson for the Commerce Ministry mentioned Canada is “contemplating its subsequent steps” and can be “guided by what’s in the very best curiosity of our farmers and the Canadian agriculture sector.”

America requested formal commerce consultations in March over objections to Mexico’s plans to restrict imports of GM corn and different agricultural biotechnology merchandise. These consultations passed off, however didn’t resolve the matter, senior officers of the US Commerce Consultant’s workplace mentioned.

Mexico’s agriculture ministry declined to remark, however the minister this week expressed confidence that the dispute with the US wouldn’t escalate to a dispute settlement panel.

The battle comes amid different disagreements between the US and Mexico, most notably over vitality by which the US has argued that Mexico’s nationalist coverage prejudices overseas corporations.

Regardless of February adjustments to Mexico’s decree on GM corn, the US mentioned the Latin American nation’s insurance policies aren’t primarily based on science and seem inconsistent with its dedication below the USMCA.

The brand new decree eradicated a deadline to ban GM corn for animal feed and industrial use, by far the majority of its $5 billion value of US corn imports, however maintained a ban on GM corn utilized in dough or tortillas.

Mexico argued on Friday the ban is not going to have an effect on commerce with the US, as Mexico produces greater than sufficient white corn used for tortillas.

A senior Mexican government, talking earlier than consultations had been requested, mentioned that as a result of Mexico is just not formally stopping sale of US GM corn, any dispute panel would possible discover little materials injury had been finished to US enterprise.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has additionally mentioned GM seeds can contaminate Mexico’s age-old native varieties and has questioned their impression on human well being.

February’s revised “decree does name for a gradual substitution and eventual banning of biotech corn, and this a part of the measure itself is just not science-based,” mentioned a senior USTR official.

The consultations will even tackle Mexico’s rejection of latest biotech seeds for merchandise like soybeans, cotton and canola, US officers mentioned.

Mexico argued on Friday that the decree “encourages Mexico to protect planting with native seeds, which is completed in compliance with the USMCA’s environmental rules.”

Some sector specialists have expressed concern that the transfer might set a precedent amongst different nations, which might disrupt the worldwide corn commerce.

The Nationwide Corn Growers Affiliation, which represents US farmers, praised the U.S.’ transfer.

“Mexico’s actions, which aren’t primarily based on sound science, have threatened the monetary wellbeing of corn growers and our nation’s rural communities,” affiliation President Tom Haag mentioned in an announcement.


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