The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced March 6 that the U.S. is seeking agricultural biotechnology consultations with Mexico under the sanitary and phytosanitary measures chapter of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement as well as a labor review of a Mexican auto parts facility located in the State of Querétaro.
Agricultural Biotechnology Consultations
USTR states these consultations would involve certain Mexican measures concerning products of agricultural biotechnology, specifically genetically engineered corn and certain other GE products (including canola, cotton, and soybeans). U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said Mexico’s policies are not grounded in science and “threaten to disrupt billions of dollars in agricultural trade and they will stifle the innovation that is necessary to tackle the climate crisis and food security challenges if left unaddressed.” She expressed hope the consultations “will be productive as we continue to work with Mexico to address these issues.”
USTR indicated that if these issues are not resolved satisfactorily, the U.S. will consider other options including taking formal steps to enforce its rights under the USMCA.
The U.S. has asked Mexico to review whether workers at a Unique Fabricating facility in Santiago de Querétaro, State of Querétaro, are being denied the rights of free association and collective bargaining, marking the seventh time the U.S. has formally invoked the USMCA’s Rapid Response Labor Mechanism.
The request is being made in response to a petition filed Feb. 2 by a Mexican labor union. The Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement has determined that there is sufficient credible evidence of a denial of rights enabling the good faith invocation of the applicable enforcement mechanism. Mexico now has ten days to agree to conduct a review and, if it agrees, 45 days to complete it.
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