The U.S. government may consider resorting to the North American free trade agreement, known as USMCA, if it fails to reach a favorable resolution to a dispute overcornGMO with Mexico, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Monday.
In 2020, the Mexican government announced the phase-out of GM corn and the herbicide glyphosate by 2024, opening the question of how it will manage to offset the tens of millions of tons of genetically modified yellow corn imported each year from the United States.
During a meeting on Monday between Vilsack and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the US authority said he raised “the deep concerns” of his government and producers around the rule that will take effect in January 2024.
“The decree (…) has the potential to substantially disrupt trade, hurt farmers on both sides of the border and significantly increase costs for Mexican consumers,” Vilsack was quoted as saying in a statement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“In the absence of an acceptable resolution of the issue, the U.S. government would be forced to consider all options, including taking formal steps to enforce our legal rights under USMCA.”
Vilsack said the business relationship between the neighbors would also be “significantly impacted” by the decree. Trade between the United States and Mexico reached a record value of more than $63 billion in 2021 and is expected to be even higher in 2022.
Although he said that “some progress” was made at Monday’s meeting, the US official also assured that “time is running out.”