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US Pushes Mexico for Approval of GM Crops, Access to Potato Market

Trade talks were held Wednesday in Mexico City

The United States pressured Mexico on Wednesday to allow genetically modified crops into the country and to open up access to U.S.-grown potatoes.

United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai pushed for the concessions during a meeting in Mexico City with Mexican Agriculture Minister Víctor Villalobos and Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier.

“Ambassador Tai emphasized the importance of Mexico immediately resuming the authorization of biotechnology products and inquired about the status of expanding access for U.S. fresh potatoes throughout Mexico,” the Office of the U.S. Trade representative said in a statement.

The Mexican government published a decree on the last day of 2020 that stated that the importation of genetically modified corn would be banned by January 2024.

The new North American free trade agreement, called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), has a biotechnology chapter that aims to support cooperation on science that corn, cotton and soybean farmers widely depend on but Mexico hasn’t approved a new agricultural trait since May 2018, reported agriculture news website Agri-Pulse.