MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s decision to postpone a planned ban of genetically modified (GM) corn purchases from the United States until 2025 was deemed satisfactory by the U.S. government, Agriculture Minister Victor Villalobos said on Tuesday.
The neighboring countries have been at loggerheads over the Mexican decree, issued in 2020, that would phase out imports of GM corn and the herbicide glyphosate by 2024.
The United States in late November threatened legal action against Mexico’s plan, saying it would cause huge economic losses and significantly impact bilateral trade.
Earlier this month, Mexico said it would extend the deadline until 2025 and was working on a proposal to overhaul its plan.
“Our U.S. counterparts considered this response satisfactory. We submitted a document for discussion, possibly in the second half of January, where this issue will be definitively resolved,” Villalobos said during an event.
If Mexico does not achieve its goal of corn self-sufficiency by the new January 2025 deadline, the matter could be subject to further review, Villalobos said.
Delaying implementation of the corn ban could effectively cede resolution of the dispute to Mexico’s next president, who is due to take office in October 2024.
Mexico said both parties aim to reach an agreement in January 2023 after a meeting in Washington last week.
Mexico imports about 17 million tons of mostly GM corn from the United States and faces a challenge of securing a supply large enough for Mexico’s needs when the ban takes effect. (Writing by Valentine Hilaire Editing by Dave Graham and Leslie Adler)