February 10, 2023


US agriculture trade chief demands Mexico to explain science behind GMO corn ban


Doug McKalip, the US Trade Representative's new lead agricultural trade negotiator, has given Mexico until February 14 to answer to a US request to explain the science behind Mexico's proposed ban on genetically modified (GMO) corn and glyphosate herbicide, Financial Trade reported.


McKalip said that Mexico's answer will assist the trade office in its attempt to resolve a long-running disagreement over Mexico's biotechnology agriculture policies.


He said this might involve escalating the trade dispute settlement process under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Billions of dollars' worth of corn trade between the US and Mexico is affected by this dispute.


The request came in a previous letter written by USTR to Mexico's economic minister, demanding scientific data and risk assessments to support their decision to ban GMO corn, which are required under the trade deal.


McKalip said Mexico rejected 14 distinct agricultural product features that were given to them without providing any rationale.


The US proposal comes days after McKalip and other US Trade Representative officials met with Mexican authorities and expressed concerns about their biotechnology strategy, threatening to take formal actions to strengthen trade rights under the USMCA.


The letter is a first step in this approach; other stages include seeking official discussions on the problem or requesting a dispute resolution panel to assess whether Mexico's measures breach the trade agreement.


McKalip said this issue is high priority for this government.


-      Financial Post

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