February 14, 2017
Bill to get Mexico to buy corn from Brazil and Argentina instead of US
Mexican senator Armando Rios Piter, who heads a congressional committee on foreign relations, said that he will introduce a bill that will have Mexico to acquire corn from Brazil and Argentina instead of the US, CNN reported.
This marks another acrimonious development between both countries since US President Donald Trump took office in January and argued for the establishment of a border wall which Mexico is exhorted to pay for. "I'm going to send a bill for the corn that we are buying in the Midwest and...change to Brazil or Argentina," Piter commented, adding that it's a "good way to tell (the US) that this hostile relationship has consequences, hope that it changes".
Mexico is currently one of the top buyers of US corn in the world. The grain is heavily used in production of local food. The US also happens to be the world's biggest producer and exporter of corn. NAFTA, the free trade agreement between Mexico, the US and Canada, have helped to boost American corn shipments to the North American nations. Yet, even that deal is facing possible challenges as Trump has prominently expressed intention to renegotiate the FTA as a result of withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This and Piter's proposed bill put US corn exports to Mexico - which amounted to US$2.4 billion in 2015 - in possible peril, consequentially affecting American farmers.
"If we do indeed see a trade war where Mexico starts buying from Brazil...we're going to see it affect the corn market and ripple out to the rest of the ag economy," Darin Newsom, senior analyst at DTN, an agricultural management firm, remarked.