A letter was sent today, by over 25 national agriculture organization, to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai regarding the U.S.-Mexico trade relationship. In it, the groups discuss their leading concerns in the U.S.-Mexico food and agriculture trade relationship.
The letters stated, “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. 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.”
The agriculture groups brought up multiple points of concern in the letter, including:
- Glyphosate/GM Corn Ban
- Increasing Obstacles to Dairy Trade
- Organic Export Certification Requirement
- Corn Product Disparagement
- Biotechnology Approvals
- Meat Industry Market Access and Geographical Indications
- Potato Import Ban
- Front-of-Pack Labeling (NOM-051)
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said, “AFBF is extremely concerned with the rapidly deteriorating relationship between the U.S. and our neighbors to the south. 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.
“We urge Secretary Vilsack and Ambassador Tai to engage with Mexico and enforce the agreements between our two countries to ensure farmers have a level playing field and continue to lead the world in producing safe, affordable food.”
The agriculture groups reiterated the importance of foreign markets by saying, “Our associations represent much of the food and agriculture sector that is responsible for roughly one-fifth of the country’s economic activity, directly supporting more than 23 million jobs — constituting nearly 15 percent of total U.S. employment. As a net producing nation of food and agriculture products, foreign markets are critical to the economic vitality of the food and agriculture sector.”
Read the full letter here.