USDA: New US-Mexico trade agreement supports crop biotechnology previously blocked by Mexico

Image: Reuters

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue … issued the following statement regarding the announcement on trade between the United States and Mexico:

President Trump is delivering on his promise to renegotiate the old, outdated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), making good on his pledge to strike the best deals possible for all of our economic sectors, including agriculture. The President has achieved important improvements in the agreement to enable our agricultural producers to be treated more fairly. This breakthrough demonstrates that the President’s common-sense strategy of holding trading partners accountable will produce results. President Trump and Ambassador Lighthizer, our U.S. Trade Representative, are to be congratulated for their determination, vision, and leadership.

“The agreement specifically addresses agricultural biotechnology to keep up with 21st Century innovations. And we mutually pledge to work together with Mexico to reduce trade-distorting policies, increase transparency, and ensure non-discriminatory treatment in grading of agricultural products.

Editor’s note: When the previous North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) took effect in 1994, agricultural biotechnology was in its infancy. Since then, the technology has enabled innovations that help farmers produce more food at lower production costs. This new agreement is significant because it doesn’t block exports of GMO crops from U.S. farms to Mexico. It supersedes an August 24th statement from Mexico’s incoming agriculture minister stipulating that GMO corn would be prohibited in the country. Moreover, other agricultural innovations linked to New Breeding Techniques like CRISPR have not yet advanced in Mexico. This new trade agreement could help Mexico embrace these new breeding techniques. 

Related article:  Mozambique sees GMO crops as way to reduce poverty, achieve food security

This is nothing short of a great victory for farmers and ranchers, because locking in our access to Mexican markets is critical to supporting farm income and strengthening rural communities. Mexico has historically been a great customer and partner and we are happy to have this resolved for our agricultural producers.

“We now hope that Canada will see the need to settle all of the outstanding issues between our two nations as well, and restore us to a true North American Free Trade Agreement.

Read full, original article: Statement of Secretary Perdue on U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement

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