Ernst cheers arbitration in U.S.-Mexico corn dispute

DES MOINES — Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says the Biden Administration has “finally” called for arbitrators to settle a dispute with Mexico over U.S. corn imports. Ernst says she’s been pushing the U.S. Trade Representative to take this step since last November.

“It has taken almost a year now for them to engage in this process,” Ernst told reporters in Iowa. “…They are finally sitting up and saying: ‘OK, we need to have some sort of dispute resolution with Mexico. Get it done and soon.”

In 2024, Mexico plans to ban the use of genetically modified corn in products like flour and tortillas that are made for human consumption. According to the USDA, about 90% of U.S. corn is grown from genetically engineered seeds and Ernst said 16 million tons of Iowa-grown corn is exported to Mexico each year.

“This is very important to Iowa farmers,” Ernst said. “We have been raising the issue for month after month after month. I am grateful that they are finally taking action.”

U.S. officials say Mexico’s ban on genetically modified corn is not based on science and is a violation of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that took effect three years ago. Canada’s Trade Ministry is siding with the U.S. in this corn dispute.