Grassley, Ernst Seek USTR Dispute Settlement w. Mexico on GMO Corn

Mexico is moving closer to banning GMO corn and two U.S. Senators want the Biden Administration to fight the move. Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst are asking U.S. Trade Ambassador Katherine Tai to bring a dispute settlement action against Mexico under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

Grassley on the hit to his state’s corn exports to Mexico; “The trade representative office has responded and said they’re ‘monitoring’ the situation. Just monitoring a situation that affects 630 million bushels of corn? That’s not good enough for the family farmer. That’s not good enough for me.”

Grassley says it’s time the trade representative’s office gets off the sidelines. “We have farmers who are starting to plan for the next planting season, and they need some certainty. And if Mexico proceeds, as they’re starting to, that’s going to bring great uncertainty and lower prices to the family farmer.”

As well as greater global food insecurity. But Grassley helped nix a separate Section 301 trade case against Mexican fruit and vegetable imports in October, arguing it could undermine USMCA cooperation and lead to higher tariffs and grocery prices.

Grassley; “And at the time I issued that release, I kind of thought it was using a sledgehammer on a flea.”

Ambassador Tai rejected that call from Florida lawmakers for that state’s fruit and vegetable industry, siding instead with Grassley and a bipartisan group of Senators against a 301 case. Grassley says he also asked for a softer dispute settlement approach in that fight.

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