MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s foreign secretary announced he will travel to Washington, D.C., on Friday in a last-ditch effort to resolve a dispute over U.S. corn imports ahead of President Joe Biden’s scheduled visit next month.
Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said on Monday he would travel to the U.S. capital with other Mexican officials to try to find “points of agreement on genetically modified corn and other issues.”
The leaders of Canada, Mexico and the United States are scheduled to meet in Mexico City on January 9.
Mexico sparked controversy after announcing plans to ban imports of genetically modified corn for human consumption and possible end-use in animal feed.
Mexico cited health concerns, but such trade restrictions could violate the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement. Mexico has been importing U.S. GM feed corn for years, buying about $3 billion a year and is the largest single export market for U.S. corn.
Mexico wants to avoid a sweeping trade complaint over the issue under the agreement and a dispute over Mexico’s energy sector.
The U.S. says Mexico unfairly favors its state-owned power and oil companies over U.S. rivals and suppliers of clean energy. Canada also joined this complaint.
The United States initially requested talks in July, but no resolution has been reached so far. The U.S. may call for an arbitration panel and the dispute could end in trade sanctions against Mexico.