Canadian statement on US-Mexico corn dispute

The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development, and the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, issued a statement about the US-Mexico corn dispute on Friday, August 25, 2023.

The Government of Canada had already issued a statement on June 9 announcing that Canada would participate as a third party in the dispute settlement consultations with Mexico initiated by the U.S. under CUSMA.

The August 25 statement says the following: “Canada will participate as a third party in the dispute settlement proceedings initiated by the United States under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) regarding the use of genetically engineered corn in tortillas and dough."

“Canada shares the concerns of the United States that Mexico is not compliant with the science and risk analysis obligations under CUSMA’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Chapter. Canada believes that the measures taken by Mexico are not scientifically supported and have the potential to unnecessarily disrupt trade in the North American market."

“Canada will continue to ensure stability and resilience for Canadian farmers and the agricultural sector for years to come.” 

The issue began on February 13, 2023, when Mexico issued a presidential decree that bans genetically engineered corn in tortillas and dough and stated an intent to gradually substitute the use of biotechnology corn in all products for human consumption and animal feed. 

The US acted quickly to initiate dispute settlement proceedings under CUSMA.


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