CAFTA praises federal government for opposing Mexico’s ban on biotech corn

The Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance is applauding the Canadian government for opposing Mexico’s biotech corn ban.

Back in February, Mexico announced it is banning the use of genetically modified corn in tortillas and dough by gradually substituting the use of biotech corn in all products used for human consumption or animal feed.

Canada will step in as a third-party in the Dispute Settlement Panel proceedings, which the U.S. is challenging Mexico’s ban.

The Executive Director of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance Michael Harvey says they want Mexico to adhere to the rules of the free trade agreement.

“What we’re saying is that the parties to the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Free Trade Agreement, which in this case is the Mexican government, has to ensure that when it does any regulatory measures that they have to respect their obligations under the agreement,” Harvey explained. “One of the key obligations they have on the agreement is that any sanitary…measures that they take have to be based on scientific risk-based principles, so our view is that they haven’t done so in this case, so we’re happy the Government of Canada is supporting the U.S. complaint against Mexico.”

Harvey added he is glad the federal government is committed to an open and fair international trading environment for agriculture and agri-food.

“And we think the economy is going to grow through getting better access to international markets and in this specific case international markets aren’t being fully open because of this restriction that the Mexican government has placed.” he continued.

He says the dispute may take two years to settle, so it’s not something as immediate as an injunction.

“It is something that hopefully will solve the dispute for a long period of time,” Harvey said.

Harvey says the U.S. has a great interest in this case, because they are a bigger exporter of corn to Mexico than Canada is.

In 2022, the U.S. exported about $5-billion worth of corn, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and about $22-billion in other agricultural goods to Mexico, according to the U.S. Trade Representative.

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