Buenrostro Confirms Peace Over Dispute with US on Transgenic Corn Issue

Buenrostro Confirms Peace Over Dispute with US on Transgenic Corn Issue

Raquel Buenrostro Sánchez, the head of the Ministry of Economy (SE), has indicated that there is a sense of tranquillity regarding the dispute with the US over the ban on transgenic corn for human consumption in Mexico. She mentioned that Mexico has concluded, albeit unofficially, the consultations on the energy panel requested by the US and Canada under the T-MEC.

Buenrostro Sánchez has dismissed concerns about the US imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports due to concerns over triangulation and alleged lack of transparency. She stated that they are awaiting approval of a memorandum of understanding by the Trade Representative Office of the US (USTR), which would resolve the energy issue.

She also highlighted that the consultations which began in July 2022 lack bases due to the protections regarding the reform of the Electrical Industry Law (LIE) of 2021 and the setback given by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN). The official mentioned that it was agreed to make a memorandum of understanding in October last year as the LIE did not come into force and the alleged discrimination suffered by the firms has been resolved.

Buenrostro Sánchez further explained that the delay in completing pending procedures and permits by the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) due to the covid-19 pandemic, a situation that has now been normalized, was not unique to Mexico.

She also stated that most of the cases were due to the interconnection to the transmission network, which has been fixed and only the hydrocarbon part remains to be resolved. She added, It wasn’t a matter of discrimination, everyone was simply coming out of Covid.

Regarding the issues of transgenic corn and steel, Buenrostro Sánchez explained that they are political discussions with conflicts of political and economic interests. She assured that Mexico is being defended as a country of origin, with over 60 breeds of the grain, of which 57 are in the country and since the 90s, the planting of transgenic corn has been prohibited.

She also pointed out that the accusations of alleged triangulation in imports of steel and aluminum from Mexico to the US are also a political issue. While she ruled out the imposition of tariffs, she also commented that Mexico would respond to the measure on certain products, something that should not happen.

Finally, Buenrostro Sánchez highlighted that Mexico has a deficit in the exports it sends to the US, so there is no reason to impose tariffs. She noted that in 2023, trade flows of finished products between the two countries amounted to more than 6 million tons, of which Mexico imported 4.1 million tons from the United States, while it imported 2.3 million tons from the US. She concluded by stating that the trade balance is a surplus in favor of the United States, which amounted to more than 3 billion dollars last year.