Mexico is ready to hit the United States where it hurts: corn.
Mexico One of the top buyers Of American corn in the world today. Also, Mexico Senator Armando Rios Pitter, who heads the Foreign Affairs Committee, said this week that Mexico will submit a bill to buy corn from Brazil and Argentina instead of the United States.
This is one of the first signs of potential concrete action from Mexico in response to President Trump’s threat to Mexico.
“We will invoice the corn we buy in the Midwest and change it to Brazil or Argentina,” 43-year-old Rio Spitter told CNN’s Leila Santiago on Sunday. Anti-Trump protest in Mexico City..
He added: “It’s a good way to tell them that this hostile relationship has consequences. I hope it changes.”
American corn is used in many foods in the country. In Mexico City, corn-based favorites like tacos are everywhere, from fine dining to taco stands.
The United States is also the world’s largest producer and exporter of corn. Since then, shipments of American corn to Mexico have skyrocketed. NAFTAFree trade agreements signed between Mexico, the United States and Canada.
American farmers sent $ 2.4 billion in corn to Mexico in 2015, the latest year of data available. In 1995, the year after NAFTA was enacted, corn exports to Mexico were only $ 391 million.
Experts say such a bill would be very expensive for US farmers.
“If there is a real trade war in which Mexico begins to buy from Brazil, it will affect the corn market and spill over into other agricultural economies,” said Darin Newsom, senior analyst at DTN. Agricultural management company.
The Rios Pitter bill is another sign of Mexico’s willingness to respond to the Trump threat. Trump wants Mexico to pay for the border wall and threatens to impose taxes ranging from 20% to 35% on Mexican imports.
Still, Mr. Trump says he wants a better trade deal for American workers, but doesn’t say what a better deal looks like.
Both sides signaled two weeks ago that negotiations would begin in May after a 90-day consultation period.
However, Mr. Trump said he threatened to withdraw from NAFTA if the negotiations could not withstand the deal he wanted.
Such a harsh story is not well accepted by Mexican leaders like Rios Pitter. He is not alone. Mexico’s Minister of Economy, Ildefonsus Guajardo, said in January that Mexico would respond “immediately” to tariffs from Trump.
“It is very clear that we need to be prepared to quickly neutralize the effects of measurements of that nature,” Guajardo said. Yang said. 13 On a Mexican news program.
-Shasta Darlington contributed a report to this story
CNNMoney (Mexico City) February 13, 2017 First Edition: 12:06 PM ET