The U.S. Trade Representative announced last Friday that it is filing a dispute settlement under the U.S.- Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in response to the steps Mexico has taken to ban biotech corn for human consumption.


Ohio Corn & Wheat, which along with the National Corn Growers Association has been leading calls for the Biden administration to act, praised the development.


The dispute stems from a 2020 decree by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador that sought to ban imports of biotech corn beginning in January 2024. Mexico issued a revised decree in February of this year that banned biotech corn for human consumption effective immediately, and left the door open for a future ban on biotech corn for feed.


Given the high stakes, corn grower leaders across the country began sounding the alarm last fall and have been calling on the Biden administration to initiate a dispute settlement under USMCA.


“Ohio’s corn growers have been standing up and speaking out about this issue, contacting their elected officials and expressing their concerns,” said Ohio Corn & Wheat Executive Director Tadd Nicholson. “Sometimes farmers wonder if it’s worth contacting members of Congress or supporting their Association. This is a great example of the difference that farmers can make when they join together in their Association and fight for their farms.”


Under USMCA, once a dispute settlement is filed, a group of objective experts will be empaneled to hear the case and make final determinations based on the commitments both parties signed as part of the free trade agreement.