Mexico is currently one of the top buyers of corn from the United States, but this could soon change. Mexican Senator Armando Rios Piter is introducing a bill that would require Mexico to buy corn from Argentina and Brazil rather than the U.S.
This is one rebellious move made by Mexico following Trump’s recent threats. The bill shows that Mexico is not afraid to fight back against Trump’s threats of making Mexico pay for the wall on the border.
“I’m going to send a bill for the corn that we are buying in the Midwest and…change to Brazil or Argentina,” Rios Piter, 43, told said to CNN reporter Leyla Santiago on Sunday at an anti-Trump protest in Mexico City. It’s a “good way to tell them that this hostile relationship has consequences, hope that it changes,” he added.
Since NAFTA, the free trade deal between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, the export of corn from America to Mexico has dramatically increased.
In 1995, a short time after NAFTA was signed into law, corn exports were at an estimated $391 million. In 2015, corn exports to Mexico were up to $2.4 billion. As one can imagine, Mexico illuminating the import of corn from the U.S. would be detrimental to American farmers.
The president has also threatened to increase taxes on Mexican imports from 20% to 35% and to renegotiate NAFTA. President Trump has not provided a specific plan however.
President Trump said,
“I don’t care if it’s a renovation of NAFTA or a brand new NAFTA, but we do have to make it fair and it’s very unfair for the American worker.”
Mexican President Enrique Peno Nieto announced that he would be beginning NAFTA negotiations beginning in May. “At the end of the 90 days, the negotiation will properly open to update our free trade agreement,” Peña Nieto said.
Trump also acknowledged the negotiation period. According to the White House Website, Trump will resign the U.S. from NAFTA if the country does not get a “better deal”.
While Trump has made these threats to Mexico regarding the border and increasing tax on imports, Mexico is not taking them lightly. Ildefonso Guajardo, Mexico’s economy minister, said Mexico would respond to any tariffs from Trump “immediately.”
Guajardo said on a Mexican news show, “It’s very clear that we have to be prepared to immediately be able to neutralize the impact of a measure of that nature.”