Mexico President Issues Decree, ICGA & NCGA Sound Alarms
A pending decree out of Mexico that would disrupt U.S. shipments of corn into the country has Illinois Corn Growers Association (ICGA) and the National Corn Growers Association sounding the alarms and calling for action.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador decided to issue a decree that would halt imports of over 90% of American corn by 2024. His efforts are based on unfounded concerns about biotech corn and use of essential herbicides by American farmers.
“We must do everything possible to stop this decree from being enacted,” said Marty Marr, President of ICGA and farmer in New Berlin, IL. “Any interruption to corn exports to Mexico will have a significant impact on this state and its growers.”
Indeed, Mexico is currently the top foreign market for US corn, at a value of over $5 billion in marketing year 21/22. In calendar year 2021, direct shipments from Illinois to Mexico were valued at over $750 million. If the decree is enacted, corn growers in Illinois will feel the impact as will businesses across the state.
Marty Marr noted that Mexico’s demands are not only a non-starter, but they would take years of advance time to enact.
“Corn growers are busy right now booking their bags of seed for spring 2023 planting, meaning that what we purchase this fall will be in grain channels as late as 2025,” said Marr. “Much of that seed corn is and will continue to be biotech corn that empowers us to conserve the soil and reduce insecticides.”
ICGA and NCGA are calling on the Biden administration’s U.S. Trade Representative to launch a formal bilateral consultation under USMCA. Such a move would allow for extensive debate on the matter and mediation.
“The proposed decree is causing stress and confusion among the growers in our state,” noted Marr.” “We hope our state’s congressional delegation will urge the administration to act as quickly as possible to resolve this matter.”