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Biotech Corn Panel Expected to Rule by March, Mexico Says

The panel deciding whether Mexico's policy on genetically modified corn breaks the rules of the USMCA will probably rule by March 2024, Mexican Economy Minister Raquel Buenrostro said at a press conference in Washington after the High Level Economic Dialogue meetings Sept. 29.

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U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai had been asked by a reporter if she and Buenrostro discussed the issue. "Secretary Buenrostro and I covered a number of issues. We did not cover corn, however, and that’s not because it’s not important, but because we’re at the point where we’ve turned it over to our lawyers," she said.

In a readout of their meeting ahead of the dialogue, Tai said they "discussed the importance of addressing concerns regarding the recent surges in Mexican exports of certain steel and aluminum products to the United States and the lack of transparency regarding Mexico’s steel and aluminum imports from third countries. Ambassador Tai and Secretary Buenrostro agreed on the importance of enhancing steel and aluminum trade monitoring efforts and instructed their teams to work towards the reinstatement of Mexico’s export monitoring regime."

During the press conference, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Mexican and U.S. officials discussed improving border coordination, and conducting a pilot of a "model port." He said they hope the pilot can help them "streamline inspection and find ways to reduce wait times, making it easier for people and goods to cross legally, while strengthening our ability to deal with fentanyl."

Mexican Foreign Secretary Alicia Barcena agreed that faster cargo movement is a top goal in Mexico, and she would like all cargo processing to be automated.

The officials received questions about illegal migration, and Barcena said Mexico is speaking to the countries that are contributing to, or in the path of, the flows -- Haiti, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras and Guatemala. She said there's a need for legal pathways for migrants, and noted, through a translator, that the surge in asylum seekers "affected us at our trade crossings, as well."