Mexico

China falls to third place as U.S. ag export market, USDA says

U.S. food and ag exports to China will fall by $6 billion this fiscal year in the biggest slump in sales since the Sino-U.S. trade war, forecast the Agriculture Department on Wednesday. Mexico and Canada will surpass China as the top customers, while the agricultural trade deficit will widen to $32 billion.

Mexico chases China for No. 1 export market

Mexico will buy a record $28.4 billion worth of U.S. food and agricultural exports this fiscal year, only $300 million less than China, the first-place customer, forecast the Agriculture Department on Wednesday. China is now buying more corn and soybeans from Brazil and less from the United States.

How the H-2A visa program failed two farmworkers from Mexico

In 2021, Vicente Gomez Hernandez and Humberto Feliciano Gomez, cousins from a poor village in Oaxaca, joined the hundreds of thousands of men and women from Mexico who come to the U.S. each year on an H-2A seasonal visa to work on farms around the country. The visa is meant to be a safe and efficient alternative to illegal border crossings, a win for farmers, who need the labor, and for workers, who get much higher wages than they can earn at home. It did not turn out that way for the two cousins.

Ag trade deficit to climb by 45 percent — USDA

After setting a record this year, the agricultural trade deficit will balloon further, to $27.5 billion in fiscal 2024, thanks to the unyielding American appetite for fresh produce, coffee, and wine, say government forecasters. More food and ag imports will flow into the United States at the same time that farm exports shrink, led by a decline in sales to China.

U.S. files USMCA challenge to Mexico’s corn import rules

Putting its warnings into action, the Biden administration officially accused Mexico on Thursday of violating North American trade rules by prohibiting imports of genetically modified white corn used in making tortillas, a staple of the Mexican diet. Mexico, the birthplace of corn and a top U.S. trade partner, said it was ready to defend its ban before a USMCA dispute panel.

Economic challenges worldwide force retreat in farm exports, says USDA

After setting a record last year, U.S. farm exports will shrink 8 percent this year, due to tightening economic conditions worldwide and lower commodity prices, said the Agriculture Department on Wednesday. The $15.4 billion decline in sales would be most pronounced for corn, cotton, beef, and soybeans.

Biden trade strategy: Stronger ties with like-minded countries

The Biden administration is writing “a new story on trade” that emphasizes cooperation with allies because countries such as China have abused open markets and low tariffs, U.S. trade representative Katherine Tai said in a speech on Wednesday.

U.S. will not allow endless negotiations on GMO corn, says Tai

With a corn-state senator demanding speedy action, U.S. trade representative Katherine Tai said on Thursday that she would not allow a dispute with Mexico over genetically modified corn “to go on indefinitely.” A 30-day period for technical consultations between the nations, arguably the last chance to avert a USMCA trade complaint, expires on April 7.

Migrants, trapped in ‘open-air prison’ by U.S. policy pick the mangoes we love

In 2019 President Donald Trump threatened to levy a 5 percent tariff on all Mexican goods unless the country agreed to beef up its immigration enforcement. Mexico acquiesced and deployed troops along its southern border with Guatemala, limiting the free movement of migrants. As a result, countless people have been trapped in Tapachula, a sprawling border town, in what the international press has described as an “open-air prison.”

U.S. calls for consultations with Mexico over GMO corn ban

The United States asked for technical consultations with Mexico over its agricultural biotechnology policy on Monday, the first formal step toward a challenge under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement. Mexico, the leading customer for U.S. corn exports, said in mid-February that it would ban entry of GMO corn used in making tortillas but accept GMO corn intended for livestock feed and industrial processors.

USDA ‘disappointed’ by revised Mexico corn ban

In a step to defuse trade tensions with the United States, Mexico removed a looming ban on most imports of GMO corn and said it would only block genetically modified corn that would be used in making tortillas. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Tuesday the USDA was dissatisfied by the revisions.

U.S. rejects Mexico proposals on GMO corn trade

Mexico has failed to satisfy the "grave concerns" of the United States over a potential ban on imports of U.S.-grown GMO corn said trade officials after negotiations in Mexico City on Monday. "We made it clear today that if this issue is not resolved, we will consider all options, including taking formal steps to enforce our rights under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.”

U.S. shrugs at Mexico claim of accord on GMO corn

Biden administration officials refused to say more than that they were studying potential resolutions to a blossoming dispute over GMO corn exports on Wednesday, although Mexico’s agriculture minister said an informal agreement already existed. Minister Victor Villalobos claimed U.S. officials were satisfied with a proposal to delay a ban on the import of GMO corn until 2025, according to a published report.

Revise GMO corn decree or face U.S. challenge, Vilsack warns Mexico

Ahead of a visit by Mexican government leaders, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Thursday that the Biden administration was ready to challenge Mexico under North American trade rules unless it “rectifies” a presidential decree that would ban imports of genetically modified corn at the start of 2024.

U.S. will ‘stem the onslaught’ of unfair Mexican vegetable imports, say Florida growers

The Biden administration will address Mexico's trade practices although it will not open a formal investigation into unfair government support of the produce industry, said the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association on Sunday.

A huge bed of pricey scallops couldn’t save a Mexican fishing village

“In Teacapán, a small fishing village on the coast of Sinaloa, Mexico, Belen Delgado made a discovery that would change his life and the lives of everyone he knew,” reports Esther Honig in FERN’s latest story, in partnership with the podcast Snap Judgment.

U.S. food prices insulated from warfare in Ukraine, says Vilsack

The Russian invasion of Ukraine will have, at most, a muted effect on U.S. food prices, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Thursday. “We have tremendous (domestic) production capacity,” he told reporters attending the USDA’s annual Agricultural Outlook Forum.

North America can lead the world on climate mitigation, says Vilsack

The agriculture ministers of Canada, Mexico, and the United States described national initiatives to boost productivity and slow global warming at the World Food Prize symposium on Thursday, with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack saying, "There's a tremendous opportunity for North America to lead the world." While he called for being tolerant of different approaches to climate mitigation, Vilsack was clear that in his view, the U.S. high-technology approach is the best.

It’s early, but China is No. 1 buyer of U.S. corn

Thanks to a buying spree, China is far and away the top customer for U.S. corn six weeks into the marketing year, said chief executive Ryan LeGrand of the U.S. Grains Council on Thursday. Its purchases of 10.4 million tonnes for delivery during 2020/21 are twice as large as sales to date to Mexico, usually the No. 1 importer.

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