JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Mexico recently issued a decree that banned imports of biotech corn used for food consumption and said it will seek to find substitutes for such products used for animal feed. Since corn is a major commodity in Missouri, this decision will directly impact the state’s farmers and economy.
That’s because most corn grown in the Show-Me State, and the U.S. is biotech corn, and Mexico has historically been one of our biggest customers. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, signed into law in 2018, reinforced balanced and fair trade to the benefit of all three participating countries.
The president of Mexico, who signed USMCA, has now decided it wants to turn this agreement on its head. The latest decree threatens the food security of the Mexican people, the financial well-being of corn growers, and the economy of rural communities.
In fact, according to forecasts, the ban on biotech corn would cause the U.S. economy to lose $73.8 billion over ten years in economic output, along with 32,217 jobs annually, with labor income falling $18 billion.
Action is needed. We are working with our congressional delegation to push the Biden administration to hold Mexico to its word and file a dispute settlement under USMCA. Once a dispute is filed, a panel of legal and trade experts will hear the case and make a final decision based on the agreement both parties have signed.
Planting decisions for the year ahead are underway, and time is of the essence. The Biden administration must act fast to head off actions that could cause a calamity on our farms, in our state, and across the Midwest.
— Bradley Schad, Missouri Corn Growers Association