Mexico prepares to retaliate by hurting U.S. corn farmers

Anti-Trump protests erupt across Mexico

Mexico prepares to hit America where it hurts: corn.

mexico is One of the top buyers American corn in the world today. Mexican Senator Armando Rios Piter, who leads the Congressional Foreign Relations Committee, said he would introduce a bill this week that would have Mexico buy corn from Brazil and Argentina instead of the United States.

It was one of the first signs that Mexico could take concrete action in response to President Trump’s threats to the country.

“I’m going to send a bag for the corn we buy in the Midwest,” Rios Piter, 43, said in an interview with CNN’s Leyla Santiago on Sunday. a bill…and change it to Brazil or Argentina.” Anti-Trump protests in Mexico City.

He added: “It’s a good way to tell them that this adversarial relationship has consequences and hopefully it will change.”

American corn is used in many foods in the country. Corn-based delicacies like tacos can be found everywhere in Mexico City, from fine-dining restaurants to street taco stands.

RELATED: Mexican Farmer’s Daughter: NAFTA Has Destroyed Us

The United States is also the world’s largest corn producer and exporter.U.S. corn shipments to Mexico have soared since then NAFTAa free trade agreement signed between Mexico, the United States and Canada.

U.S. farmers shipped $2.4 billion worth of corn to Mexico in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available. In 1995, the year after NAFTA became law, corn exports to Mexico were just $391 million.

Experts say such a bill would be costly for American farmers.

“If we do see a trade war where Mexico starts buying from Brazil … we’re going to see it impact the corn market and spill over into the rest of the farm economy,” said Darin Newsom, senior analyst at DTN, Farm Management Corp.

Rios Pitt’s bill is another sign Mexico is willing to respond to Trump’s threats. Trump wants Mexico to pay for the border wall, threatening tariffs of 20% to 35% on Mexican imports.

Trump wants too Renegotiate NAFTA. He blamed the influx of manufacturing jobs into Mexico.a nonpartisan congress Research The report found that was not the case.

RELATED: Mexico doubles down on Trump’s ‘contingency plan’

Still, Trump said he wanted a better trade deal for American workers — though he didn’t say what a better deal would look like.

All parties said two weeks ago that negotiations would begin in May after a 90-day consultation period.

But Trump said he would threaten to withdraw from NAFTA if talks failed to produce the deal he wanted.

Mexican leaders like Rios Pitt are not receptive to such tough talk. He is not alone. Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said in January that Mexico would respond “immediately” to any Trump tariffs.

“It is clear that we must be ready to be able to immediately counteract the effects of measures of this nature,” Guajardo said. Jan 13 says On a Mexican news program.

–Shasta Darlington contributed to this report

CNNMoney (Mexico City) First posted Feb 13, 2017: 12:06pm EST

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