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USDA, USTR Ag Trade Officials Dismiss Mexican Concessions on GMO Corn Import Ban

The top Ag trade officials from USDA and USTR are dismissing what they call insufficient concessions from Mexico on its planned 2024 GMO corn import ban.

USDA’s Alexis Taylor and USTR’s Doug McKalip say after their meetings with Mexican officials, Mexico’s proposed approach to GMO corn imports is not scientific and threatens billions worth of bilateral Ag trade.

Nebraska U.S. Senator Deb Fisher pressed Taylor for action at Taylor’s confirmation hearing for USDA trade undersecretary last year.

“This policy is definitely out of step with the commitments that were put in the USMCA. So, I will ask you, if confirmed, will you work with your USTR counterparts to enforce the USMCA’s biotechnology provisions, and if necessary, to advocate for the United States to take enforcement action?”

Referring to triggering a USMCA dispute settlement action, already called for by other senators and threatened by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. But Taylor went just so far ahead of her confirmation.

“Fundamentally, enforcement of commitments that are made to U.S. producers, to the U.S., is critical to trade policy that works for our farmers. This is an issue, in particular, with Mexico on biotechnology of corn, that I want to look into further, should I have the privilege to be confirmed.”

Now in office, Taylor and USTR Chief Ag Negotiator Doug McKalip say in a joint statement, if the issue with President Lopez Obrador’s planned GMO corn ban isn’t resolved, the U.S. will “consider all options,” including “formal steps” to enforce its USMCA rights.

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