Iowa delegation urges U.S. trade chief to protect Iowa corn farmers

The Iowa congressional delegation, including Republican U.S. Reps. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Randy Feenstra, and Ashley Hinson, request that the U.S. Trade Representative take action to protect Iowa corn farmers and ensure that Mexico complies with its commitments under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

The members say they are concerned with the Mexican government’s recent action to ban biotech corn imports by January 2024, a decree that they argue is inconsistent with commitments made through the USMCA. They noted that recent reports indicate that Mexico’s decision would result in the loss of 32,217 U.S. jobs and cost the U.S. economy more than $3.5 billion during the first year.

In a Dec. 16 letter sent to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, the Iowa delegation requested that she take immediate action to ensure the nation’s farmers can continue to feed the world.

“U.S. agricultural innovations have allowed farmers to use new technologies that increase productivity, crop yields, and sustainability. However, the Mexican government’s proposals to restrict these technologies will have detrimental impacts for agricultural sustainability and efficiency,” said the letter, which also was signed by U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne (D-IA). 

“In Iowa, our farmers grow the most corn of any state annually, with over 2.5 billion bushels produced in 2021. A large portion of this corn is exported to Mexico, and thus, this action would severely harm Iowa’s economy and the U.S. economy as a whole,” the members wrote.

They added that any decisions related to exports of corn should be made with regard to internationally accepted scientific principles.