With the exception of gasoline, the price of which has recently fallen, Americans face rising prices on almost everything. The United States is not alone in battling inflation. People around the world are battling rising prices, including Mexican citizens, whose president and trade officials are embroiled in a trade dispute that could hurt both sides in the dispute.
Tortilla prices and U.S.-Mexico trade relations are at stake in a dispute that could undermine Mexico-U.S. trade relations. Mexico is a major buyer of U.S.-grown corn, but Mexicans will consider higher tortilla prices in 2024 and 2025 if the Mexican government refuses to negotiate with the United States over genetically modified corn supplied by the United States. United.
The situation has caught the attention of American corn growers, including farmers in Nebraska who supply much of the corn exported to Mexico. If Mexico backed out of its agreement to import American corn, it would be a blow to the Mexican economy. It is estimated that reneging on the agreement would significantly increase corn prices, resulting in corn price increases of 30% in 2024 and 42% in 2025. The tortilla price increases are likely due to the fact that genetically modified maize is less expensive than unmodified varieties.
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Acquiring the equivalent of the corn that Mexicans agreed to buy under the United States-Mexico-Canada deal would cost Mexico an additional $5.6 billion.
The Nebraska Corn Board and the Nebraska Corn Growers Association are not taking the situation lightly. They allege that Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s corn import ban violates the USMCA pact. NeCGA has repeatedly requested the initiation of USMCA law enforcement proceedings.
Mexico’s handling of the corn export deal is frustrating for Nebraska corn farmers. They claim that the Mexicans are reneging on an agreement made in good faith and ignoring decades of science regarding the safety of genetically modified corn.
“We need to keep following the science,” said Jay Reiners, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board. “We must have the capacity to feed the Mexican population. Agriculture uses science, and Mexico’s decree does not follow decades of science that we have used and trusted.
In October, Gothenburg farmer Andy Jobman, president of the NeCGA, published an opinion piece urging President López Obrador and Mexican officials to protect, support and expand trade in US products, including GM corn. Jobman and the Nebraska Corn Board believe the Biden administration and federal trade officials have been coy about overseas trade talks, including the Mexican corn deal.
American farmers constantly cite scientific evidence about the safety of GM corn as well as its history of dramatically increased yields. American farmers want to produce enough food and agricultural products for a growing world, but science-based arguments still meet resistance, even from longtime reliable trading partners like Mexico.
The same mark of resistance follows ethanol, a byproduct of corn that helps motorists burn cleaner fuel and tame high gas prices.
Despite the desirable qualities of renewable fuel, ethanol is criticized by some consumers and automakers, and Uncle Sam does not support federal standards for ethanol production. The Federal Renewable Fuels Standard is supposed to set annual ethanol production levels. RFS’ goal is to ensure that investors in clean renewable fuel will have reliable demand for their product.
Corn growers received good news last week from a strong supporter.
Senior U.S. Senator from Nebraska Deb Fischer is leading a bipartisan campaign to allow year-round sales of E-15 blended fuels. Congressional passage of Fischer’s legislation would be a significant boost to corn growers by stimulating demand for their product.
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