U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, led a bipartisan letter with 25 of her Senate colleagues to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) expressing concern over Mexico’s efforts to ban U.S. genetically engineered corn.

In 2020, Mexican President Lopez Obrador issued a presidential decree that Mexico would phase out the use of genetically modified corn by 2024. Such an action is unsupported by science and would run afoul of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA). 

“These actions are unsupported by science and a breach of USMCA. It would be detrimental to food security in Mexico, hurt U.S. agricultural sustainability, and stifle future agricultural technology innovations that would benefit both nations. While we appreciate the efforts of USTR and USDA to resolve this issue by engaging with Mexican officials, we also encourage the administration to consider all options available in an effort to hold Mexico to their trade commitments including pursuing a dispute settlement process through USMCA,” the senators wrote in their letter. 

Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) co-lead the letter. Additional cosigners of the letter include U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-Ark.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Michael Rounds (R-S.D.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), John Thune (R-S.D.), and Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

The full text of the letter is available here.

BACKGROUND:

Over 90% of all corn acreage in the United States is planted with genetically engineered seeds.

Nebraska is the top state in the country for white corn, which is used in many food products. Nebraska exported over $348 million of corn to Mexico in 2020, making it the state’s largest export market for the product. 

You can read more about Sen. Fischer’s effort to highlight the far-reaching implications of Mexico proposed ban here.  

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