Canada joins U.S. in trade disputes with Mexico

Canada joins U.S. in trade disputes with Mexico
Jun 12, 2023

The U.S. has requested a dispute settlement with Mexico under CUSMA

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Canada is getting involved in the trade dispute settlement between the U.S. and Mexico.

“Canada will continue to work with Mexico and the U.S. towards an outcomes that preserves trade predictability and market access for our farmers and exporters,” a joint statement from Trade Minister Mary Ng and Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says.

The U.S. requested a dispute settlement with Mexico under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) on June 2 because a February Mexican decree calls for the ban of GMO corn in tortillas or dough and instructs the government to gradually phase out GMO corn in all products for human consumption and animal feed.

The decree also included banning the use of glyphosate in Mexico.

The phase out measures would begin in 2024.

Canada is joining the consultations as a third party.

Under Section 31.4 of CUSMA, a third party that believes it has “substantial interest in the matter” may participate in the process.

Canadian representatives believe this matter is important to Canadian ag as well.

“Like the United States, Canada is concerned with the rejections of certain biotechnology product applications covering GE corn, canola, cotton, and soybean,” says a June 9 letter from Global Affairs Canada to U.S. and Mexican representatives. “When a key trading partner such as Mexico does not authorize biotechnology applications for Canadian agricultural exports, this creates an asymmetry in North American regulatory conditions that can lead to trade disruptions.”

The Canola Council of Canada supports the Canadian government’s involvement in this matter.

Ag trade is successful when it is based on facts, said Jim Everson, president of the Canola Council of Canada.

“To continue to serve the Mexican market and other key export markets, it is essential that Canada’s trading partners support and implement science-based regulatory systems that enable getting innovations, including products of agricultural biotechnology, authorized and approved and into the hands of Canadian canola growers,” he said in a June 9 statement.

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