Mexico Offers Amendments to Plans to Ban Imports of GMO Corn

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack is keeping up the pressure on Mexican officials to back off plans to ban imports of GMO corn. Vilsack and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai met with a delegation of senior Mexican Government officials in Washington, D.C. late last week. Those officials offered amendments to President Lopez Obrador’s plans to ban imports of GMO corn starting in 2024.
Vilsack and Tai are reviewing their proposal, but Vilsack warned ahead of their meeting,
“If the proposal doesn’t meet what we think is consistent with the science and doesn’t meet what we think is consistent with the USMCA, we would absolutely continue to work with the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office to begin the process of triggering whatever needs to be triggered under the USMCA. And that hasn’t changed, and it’s not going to change.”
It’s same message the Secretary says he delivered earlier to Mexico’s president.
“By going down and speaking to the president and making sure he understood that, I think he respected that and we hope two things—one, we hope that we continue to see corn that’s produced in the United States (go) to Mexico, and we hope to see consistency and adherence to the terms and conditions of the USMCA or a process in which we trigger the dispute resolution aspect of the USMCA.”
Vilsack would like some help in this endeavor. He’s calling on the Senate to provide it.
“It would be certainly nice if the United States Senate would finish its work in getting a highly qualified candidate who’s been nominated to be Undersecretary for Trade, Alexis Taylor, who’s currently the commissioner in Oregon, and who has worked at USDA in the Foreign Ag Service, an expert in that field. It would be great if they could finally finish their work on nominations.”
Also still awaiting confirmation is President Biden’s pick for USTR Chief Ag Negotiator, Doug McKalip, approved 27-0 by the Senate Finance Committee in September.

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