Today, U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra (R-Hull), along with the entire Iowa House delegation, sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine C. Tai demanding that the Biden Administration hold the Mexican government accountable for banning biotech corn imports in violation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). In 2021, Mexico accounted for 25% of U.S. corn exports.
In part, the lawmakers wrote, “U.S. agricultural innovations have allowed farmers to use new technologies that increase productivity, crop yields, and sustainability. However, the Mexican government’s proposals to restrict these technologies will have detrimental impacts for agricultural sustainability and efficiency. In Iowa, our farmers grow the most corn of any state annually with over 2.5 billion bushels produced in 2021. A large portion of this corn is exported to Mexico and thus, this action would severely harm Iowa’s economy and the U.S. economy as a whole.”
“Recent reports indicate that this decision would result in the loss of 32,217 U.S. jobs and would cost the U.S. economy over $3.5 billion in losses during the first year. This decree will result in supply chain disruptions, cause uncertainty for farmers and consumers, and inevitably inflate the cost of food and other goods. The U.S. and global economies are already suffering the effects of food insecurity being caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and Mexico’s actions will only exacerbate these effects,” the lawmakers continued.
In 2020, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced his plans to phase out and ultimately ban biotech corn. Recently, the Mexican government clarified that its biotech corn ban would be postponed until 2025; a timeline that still threatens Iowa corn farmers and families.
Feenstra is adamantly opposed to the Mexican government’s proposed ban and has pledged to work with his Iowa colleagues to enforce the USMCA and all pertinent U.S. trade laws.