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August 25, 2023

U.S. sets up appeal to CUSMA dispute panel on Mexico’s plan to ban biotech corn

United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced that the U.S. is establishing a dispute settlement panel under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) regarding certain Mexican measures concerning biotech corn.

The United States is challenging measures set out in Mexico’s February 13, 2023 decree, specifically the ban on use of biotech corn in tortillas or dough, and the instruction to Mexican government agencies to gradually substitute-i.e., ban-the use of biotech corn in all products for human consumption and for animal feed.

The U.S. contends Mexico’s measures are not based on science and undermine the market access it agreed to provide in the CUSMA.

In June 2023, the United States requested and held dispute settlement consultations with Mexico regarding its biotechnology measures under the CUSMA Dispute Settlement Chapter, but these consultations failed to resolve the matter.

Canada participated as a third party in the dispute settlement consultations. The Canadian Government said it shares the concerns of the U.S. that Mexico’s measures are not scientifically supported and have the potential to unnecessarily disrupt trade in the North American market.”

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