Statement by USDA, USTR Officials Regarding Meetings in Mexico Today
MEXICO CITY, Jan. 23, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Alexis Taylor and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Chief Agricultural Negotiator Doug McKalip issued the following statement after meetings with Mexican government officials regarding President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s decree to phase out the use and importation of genetically engineered corn and other products by January 31, 2024.
“U.S. officials continue to engage with our Mexican counterparts at the highest levels to address our grave concerns with Mexico’s biotechnology policies. We appreciate the active engagement between U.S. and Mexican government officials following U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s trip to Mexico in November, and the proposed modifications to the presidential decree shared by Mexico at the end of 2022. However, these changes are not sufficient and Mexico’s proposed approach, which is not grounded in science, still threatens to disrupt billions of dollars in bilateral agricultural trade, cause serious economic harm to U.S. farmers and Mexican livestock producers, and stifle important innovations needed to help producers respond to pressing climate and food security challenges.
“Our trip further underscores the importance of resolving this issue and we conveyed our continued commitment to strengthening our economic and trade relationship with Mexico. In our meetings today, we reemphasized the concerns previously expressed by Secretary Vilsack and Ambassador Tai. We appreciate our Mexican counterparts’ time and dedication in trying to hammer out a solution. We made it clear today that if this issue is not resolved, we will consider all options, including taking formal steps to enforce our rights under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.”