Statement by Secretary Vilsack Regarding USMCA Consultation Request with Mexico
WASHINGTON, March 6, 2023 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack issued the following statement regarding today’s announcement by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative that the United States is requesting technical consultations with Mexico under the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) Chapter of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). These consultations regard certain Mexican measures concerning products of agricultural biotechnology.
“Mexico is an important partner, and we remain committed to maintaining and strengthening our economic and trade ties. A robust, transparent agricultural trading relationship, founded on rules and science, is vital to ensuring food security, mitigating the lingering effects of food price inflation, and helping to address the climate crisis. Innovations in agricultural biotechnology play a key role in advancing these critical, global objectives.
“These consultations represent the next step in addressing the United States’ concerns with Mexico’s biotechnology policies. While we appreciate the sustained, active engagement with our Mexican counterparts at all levels of government, we remain firm in our view that Mexico’s current biotechnology trajectory is not grounded in science, which is the foundation of USMCA. We remain unequivocal in our stance that the science around agricultural biotechnology has been settled for decades.
“We remain hopeful that our concerns can be fully addressed but, absent that, we will continue to pursue all necessary steps to enforce our rights under the USMCA to ensure that U.S. producers and exporters have full and fair access to the Mexican market.”