Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Now it’s Mexico’s turn

Now it’s Mexico that United States farm groups are complaining about trade issues.

The Canadian dairy industry is under attack by United States dairy farmers and processors over its handling of import permits and the pricing of milk for processors.

With Mexico, the complaints are much broader, but potatoes are at the top of the list.

The Mexican potato cartel CONPAPA , has applied to Mexico’s supreme court to prevent their federal government from implementing regulations allowing for the importation of U.S. fresh potatoes.

A group of 27 U.S. farm organizations say the primary question the cases ask the Court to resolve is not limited to potatoes, but instead alleges that the Mexican government has no authority to provide market access to any agricultural commodity. A negative outcome in these cases could have far-reaching impacts for U.S.-Mexico agricultural trade.

Additional concerns raised include a ban on glyphosate and genetically modified corn, increased obstacles to dairy trade, an organic export certification requirement, a state-sponsored campaign disparaging corn sweeteners from the U.S., a cessation of review and approval of biotechnology applications, implications from meat industry market access and geographical indications, and a new front-of-pack labeling regulation. 

These issues, along with a high number of investigations on Mexico’s fresh produce exports to the U.S., hamper the competitiveness of U.S. farmers, ranchers, and other members of the food and agriculture sector, the associations said.

The National Potato Council and 26 leading food and agriculture associations outlined these complaints in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai Monday calling for help to open and restore markets in Mexico.