JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) today [June 2, 2023] requested a formal dispute panel be established to resolve Mexico’s unscientific plan to ban genetically modified white corn, a clear violation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The Missouri Corn Growers Association (MCGA), alongside other state and national organizations, has been a vocal advocate in pushing back on this glaring trade infringement. MCGA President Clint Stephens, a corn grower from Advance, Mo., issued the following statement.
“MCGA is thankful USTR moved forward with this formal dispute panel. Given the transportation advantages, Mexico represents a critical market for Missouri corn farmers. For months, corn farmers have led the charge to push back on a ban based on politics and not science. While it is unfortunate that we have reached the point requiring a formal dispute, the U.S. cannot allow this violation to go unchecked. Mexico’s policy runs counter to USMCA and threatens to cause severe economic harm to Missouri farmers and stifle innovation that promotes food security. MCGA stands firm that USMCA must be enforced in its entirety.
“We are grateful to Missouri’s congressional delegation for their efforts to keep pressure on the issue and seek resolution. While the formation of a dispute panel by USTR is a key milestone, the entire process could take more than a year to resolve, adding uncertainty in the corn market for the 2024 planting season. MCGA will continue working closely with Missouri’s political leaders, industry partners, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and USTR to reach an expedited conclusion.”
— Missouri Corn