Mexico is currently in a growing trade dispute with the United States. The crux of the fight is over Mexico’s growing opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMO) in their imports of corn.
Mexico plans to ban GMO corn from being eaten by people and eventually ban it from being eaten by animals as well.
This has a major negative impact on US corn imports to Mexico. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (Amlo) says he won’t back down.
According to Mexico, GMO corn is harmful and causes long-term disease and problems.
In the past, the narcoterrorist-plagued nation of Mexico has tried its best to avoid fighting with US trade representatives on the GMO issue, but Amlo says the negotiations are not yielding many results.
A ban is still going to go forward, he says; the “health” of Mexicans comes before convenience or profit in trade deals.
A panel dispute under the US-Canada-Mexico free trade agreement gives Mexico a fair amount of leverage to throw a wrench into the trade flow. This is part of why American trade representatives and companies are getting alarmed about this.
Politicians have also weighed in, such as Congresswoman Mary Miller of Illinois, noting that a Mexican full ban on GMOs could have “long-term detrimental effects” on the entire “corn industry” in her state.
“Mexico’s plan to impose an import ban can have long-term detrimental effects to local economies, family farmers and the corn industry here in Illinois,” lawmakers wrote.https://t.co/m44t9Z9uQc
— Rep. Mary Miller (@RepMaryMiller) March 6, 2023
‘Disrupt Billions’ in Trade Flow
The US says if this ban goes forward, “billions” in trade flow could be stalled in the agricultural sector. Mexico is currently the #1 import destination for American corn. The majority of American corn is GMO.
Ban GMO and you ban most American corn. Mexico needs corn to feed its animals and keep its large livestock industry and meat industry going. The country doesn’t have enough of its own corn.
A ban on GMOs could be coming down the pike as early as next year. This would make the price of meat go up even more inside Mexico and likely cause a further spike in illegal immigration to the US as well.
All of these issues are connected and the economic impact is also huge.
Mexico's president vowed not to back down in a dispute with the United States over a potential ban on imports of (GMO) genetically modified corn. “No treaty in the world allows people to sell merchandise that damages health,” he said. #GMO #CORN #TRADE pic.twitter.com/htTNowb8lK
— Geopolitics.wiki (@GeopoliticsW) March 8, 2023
The Bottom Line
Part of Mexico’s ban is motivated by a desire to protect its native varieties of corn. These different types of corn were first grown agriculturally about 9,000 years ago by its ancient peoples.
GMO seed corn will be banned under the new rules. Likewise, authorities are already in the process of starting to “gradually substitute” GMO corn and eventually outlaw it.
Wherever you stand on the GMO issue and agricultural trade, there’s no doubt this issue will continue to grow, particularly as Mexico seems to be willing to continue to press this issue and bring it ahead to arbitration.