US Threatens Mexican Agribusiness SectorBy Ricardo Guzman | Thu, 02/20/2020 - 17:03
A new threat against the Mexican agribusiness sector emerged yesterday after the US Trade Representative Office (USTR) reported that it will request the International Trade Commission to monitor unfair commercial practices in seasonal and perishable products imports.
In a letter to senators and congressmen, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that within 60 days of the USMCA’s effective trade date, he will offer a “corrective action plan” that could lead to anti-dumping investigations, Reforma has reported.
The USTR, the Department of Commerce and the Department of Agriculture will hold hearings in Florida and Georgia with US producers.
According to Bosco de la Vega, President of the National Agricultural Council (CNA), this decision is an internal US affair but it is also a breach of the USMCA trade treaty and goes against Word Trade Organization (WTO) regulations. “We already went through this with the tomatoes,” De la Vega warned, saying that Mexico will not give additional concessions.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade Luz María de la Mora said Mexico will not allow “this seasonal issue to enter through the back door”.
De la Mora explained that Mexico is working with the US and Canada on methodology and formulas to be implemented in the USMCA’s standardized rules. For agribusiness, this means compliance to sanitary and phytosanitary regulation.
CPTPP to the rescue
The agribusiness sector has a great opportunity to open new markets in the face of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Association Treaty (CPTPP), said the Director of Food and Fishery Goods at the Ministry of Economy (SE) Arturo Juárez.
During a CPTPP seminar hosted by SE in the Mexican Senate, Juárez highlighted the demand from Asian countries for several Mexican products including avocado, beef and pork. “Nearly 90 percent of exports became duty free with the CPTPP. Mexico has a great opportunity in these high purchasing markets with more than 500 million consumers,” Juárez said.