American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Zippy Duvall met with Tatiana Clouthier, Mexico’s Secretary of the Economy, and Esteban Moctezuma Barragón, Mexico’s Ambassador to the U.S., last week to discuss various trade matters, the use of technology to advance agriculture and the border crisis. Mexico is the third largest destination for U.S. agricultural exports.
“It was a pleasure to host the Secretary and Ambassador today to discuss both opportunities and challenges facing our two countries. We reiterated our mutual commitment to the USMCA and discussed concerns about seasonal produce imports and exports on both sides of the border,” Duvall said.
“We discussed recent decisions by the Mexican government that threaten our strong trade partnership. I expressed the deep disappointment of America’s farmers and ranchers in Mexico’s decision to limit use of technologies – and food produced using such technology – that increase agriculture’s sustainability and ability to meet the growing demand for food. I urged Mexico to return to a science-based approach to corn produced for both human consumption and animal feed. Secretary Clouthier conveyed concerns rising in her country related to increased U.S. interest in country of origin labeling of meat. She urged an approach that honors our WTO commitments.
“Beyond agricultural trade, I conveyed the seriousness of the situation for farmers and ranchers along our southern border who face an influx of migrants crossing their properties. I shared the heartbreaking stories about migrants left abandoned, dangerous smugglers on the run and the concerns of farmers and ranchers for their families’ safety and their farms’ security when homes are raided, fences are destroyed and water supplies are compromised. I was pleased to hear about efforts in Mexico to slow migration along their southern border from Central and South America and to increase border security along their northern border. Still, more must be done to address this crisis.
“Overall, it was a constructive meeting. I am a big believer in establishing personal relationships, especially with so much on the line for our farmers and ranchers. As the third largest destination for U.S. agricultural exports, Mexico is an important trading partner. I look forward to a continuing dialogue with Secretary Clouthier and Ambassador Barragón.”