MEXICO CITY ( Associated Press) – US officials said Monday they were still a long way away from reaching an agreement with Mexico on the country’s plans to ban imports of genetically modified corn for human consumption.
Mexico has indicated that, in time, it may also veto transgenic corn for animal feed, but said it hopes to study the matter to reach some kind of joint agreement.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative to Mexico proposed some changes, but “they are not substantial.”
“Mexico’s proposed approach, which is not based on science, continues to threaten to disrupt multi-billion-dollar bilateral agricultural trade and cause serious economic harm to US farmers and Mexican ranchers,” the office said in a statement.
US farmers are worried about the possible loss of the biggest export market for the corn they produce. Mexico has been importing transgenic corn from the United States for years, amounting to about $3,000 million a year.
Mexico alleges health concerns, but this type of ban could violate a free trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada.
Mexican officials hope to avoid a complaint over the corn deal, as well as a dispute over its energy sector.
The United States says Mexico unfairly favors state-owned power and oil companies over American competition and clean energy providers. Canada has joined that claim.