A coalition of agricultural groups has expressed concerns related to Mexico’s trade actions. A letter recently sent to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai details challenges producers are encountering. The group is encouraging action on behalf of American producers to ensure adequate access to an essential market for U.S. ag products.
“Mexico is one of America’s most important food and agriculture trade partners. NAFTA has yielded strong benefits to both countries and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) promises to build upon those gains,” the letter states. “Yet, the food and agriculture trade relationship with Mexico has declined markedly, a trend USMCA’s implementation has not reversed. We respectfully urge your attention to this important but quickly deteriorating trade relationship.”
Some of Mexico’s trade actions causing alarm include the ban on imports of U.S. potatoes and increased obstacles to dairy trade. The Mexican government has also noted its intention to phase out the use of glyphosate along with genetically modified corn. The letter also details concerns regarding a new organic export certification requirement implemented by Mexico’s Health, Food Safety, and Quality Agency.
Issues raised in the letter are on top of the recent concerns regarding exports of fresh produce from Mexico. U.S. producers have been raising alarm about products from Mexico having a negative impact on the competitiveness of American agriculture. The letter was signed by nearly 30 food and agriculture associations, including the U.S. Dairy Export Council, American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), and the North American Meat Institute.
“AFBF is extremely concerned with the rapidly deteriorating relationship between the U.S. and our neighbors to the south,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said in a news release. “We built strong trade ties with Mexico through NAFTA and improved upon them with USMCA, but recent moves by Mexico to limit American imports and to undercut prices in the U.S. puts America’s farmers and ranchers at a competitive disadvantage.”