A bipartisan coalition of Missouri lawmakers is one of many efforts pushing the Biden administration to respond to Mexico’s decree banning biotech corn imports.

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Representative Mark Alford, a Missouri Republican, last week led a bipartisan effort demanding the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office initiate a dispute resolution panel under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

We led a bipartisan effort last Friday with our Missouri delegation colleagues to demand that the Biden administration convene a formal dispute settlement panel under the United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement to really prevent what I think is a destructive American biotech corn ban. It’s going to do nothing but create uncertainty in our markets, and its not going to do any good for our relations with Mexico, either.

On Monday, USTR announced the launch of technical consolations with Mexico on the issue, a formal step towards a dispute panel under USMCA.

It gets us to the table and that’s all we want right now. We want to be able to open the dialogue with Mexico to try and bring some common sense to this issue. And Mexico needs our product. Look, they cannot meet the demand in Mexico with just the products that they grow. And we don’t know if they came out with this ban originally just to try to increase their markets and to some degree, profits for their growers. But we know that this is kind of a two-way street here. They need our corn, we need their markets, let’s be reasonable, rational, and have realistic goals for both countries.

Alford says it’s important to take aggressive enforcement action regarding the issue.

I think when Mexico comes out with such a strict ban that is going to affect our corn growers so much, we have to do everything we can to get their attention. And so, this is the first measure in that, I don’t know where it will lead, but at least we are sitting down to the table to start to talk and make some progress.

Alford is a new member of the House of Representatives and serves on the House Agriculture Committee.

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