Mexico has placed a 50 percent tariff on imports of white corn, a move that could aggravate trade tensions with the United States.
In a call with reporters on Monday, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said the US will continue to follow the trade dispute settlement process under the Unites States-Mexico-Canada Agreement that was filed because of a ban on biotech corn. “We expect and anticipate that our response to any and all activities by the Mexican government is to continue to pursue an ultimate determination under USMCA that the actions taken by the Mexican government were not appropriate.”
Mexico’s president says the decision was made to help control inflation and boost domestic production and be in place until the end of the year.
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar tells Brownfield the majority of US corn isn’t impacted by the tariff, but is pleased that the United States Trade Representative is working to find a solution under USMCA. “It is a process. We would love to get it resolved tomorrow, but it is a process where we can seek remedy.”
USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service says about 1 percent of total US corn production is white corn and Mexico imports about 20 percent of it.
Tina Smith, a Senator from Minnesota, says Mexico needs to be held accountable for decisions regarding tariffs and the biotech corn ban. “We need to follow the facts and science as we look at these trade agreements to make sure that we are fully using the remedies that we have in the trade agreement.”
The Senate Ag Committee members say they believe the administration is being proactive with the issue. On June 2, USTR Ambassador Katherine Tai had requested dispute settlement consultations with Mexico, and a week later Canada joined the request from the US.