The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was meant to be the gold-standard trade agreement for agricultural biotechnology—but Mexico’s not cooperating. Today, BIO’s Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath will testify before the Senate Finance Committee and urge USTR to take enforcement action.
To catch you up:Mexico is not adhering to its ag biotech commitments in USMCA. Mexico’s food and drug regulator has not approved a new biotech trait since May 2018, and in December, Mexico's president issued a decree stating the intention to phase out biotech corn for human consumption by 2024 and refrain from future biotech approvals.
More Background: Unpacking Mexico’s economic and environmental paradox
BIO President and CEO Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath will testify on the situation today, during a Senate Finance full committee hearing, Implementation and Enforcement of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement: One Year After Entry into Force (9:30 AM ET).
“If Mexico does not approve a new corn biotechnology product, U.S. corn farmers are reluctant to plant the product for fear of disrupting trade to Mexico,” Dr. Michelle plans to share in her testimony, which FarmProgress previewed ahead of the hearing.
“This means, in effect, that Mexico determines which technology U.S. farmers can use,” she continues.
“BIO strongly urges USTR to begin taking enforcement action on Mexico’s treatment of agriculture biotechnology,” continues the testimony.
What does BIO recommend? “An enforcement case would at a minimum provide a framework and timeline to resolve the COFEPRIS-related delays in biotechnology approvals and the December 31, 2020, decree. Without a process, BIO and its members fear the Government of Mexico will continue the status quo, and possibly broaden the scope of the decree to additional agricultural products, which would compound the impact on U.S. trade and future innovation.”
Read BIO’s full testimony.
Read more about what to expect from the hearing in FarmProgress.
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