United States requested dispute resolution inquiries with Mexico under the USMCA before the measures imposed, specifically the ban on importing GM corn to the country after the decree issued at the beginning of 2023 by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
The United States Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, announced today, June 2, the formal request for dispute resolution consultations regarding Mexico’s restrictions on agricultural biotechnology products after ensuring that they are “not based on science” and “threaten to disrupt US exports.”
“Mexico’s biotechnology policies also stifle agricultural innovation that helps American farmers respond to pressing climate challenges, increase agricultural productivity, and improve farmer livelihoods,” said the United States trade representative, who He stated that they will continue to work with Mexican authorities on this issue.
“We will continue to work with the Mexican government through these consultations to resolve our concerns and help ensure that consumers can continue to access safe and affordable food and agricultural products,” he said.
For his part, the US Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, also expressed his position against the measures established in Mexico and assured that the Biotechnology issue “has been shown to be safe for decades.”
“Mexico’s measures appear to be incompatible with several of its obligations in the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (MSF) and Market Access chapters of the T-MEC,” they pointed out and questioned the prohibition of the use of transgenic corn for human consumption and animal.
On January 20, the United States sent a written request to Mexico to request a explanation of some of the measures implemented in the country regarding biotechnological products, supporting with information the reasons for said restrictions. The response from the Mexican government came on February 14.
However, in March 2023, the United States requested technical consultations with Mexico regarding the measures on biotechnological products, which were carried out under the SPS chapter of the USMCA, but the matter was not resolved.
“The United States has made it clear that it would consider all options, including additional measures to enforce the United States’ rights under USMCA, if Mexico does not return to science-based and risk-based biotechnology policies that meet the US standards. commitments of the T-MEC”, he pointed out in a statement.
If there is no settlement in 75 days during the dispute resolution consultations, the matter could reach a panel, a situation that President López Obrador had foreseen when he pointed out that the case of transgenics is an “important issue” for his government. .
The president said in March that Mexico’s proposal was that Cofepris and a United States agency carry out a analysis to determine whether or not there was damage to health by transgenic corn and while this investigation was being carried out its consumption in humans would not be authorized and it would only be for birds, pigs and everything that has to do with the livestock sector.