USTR Presents Oral Argument Before USMCA Biotech Corn Dispute Panel

July 01, 2024

MEXICO CITY – The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) last week participated in a hearing before the dispute settlement panel formed under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to challenge certain Mexican measures concerning products of agricultural biotechnology that are not based on science and threaten to disrupt U.S. exports of corn and harm U.S. farmers. 

The opening and closing statements of the United States are available here.

A final panel report is expected by the end of this year. 


On August 17, 2023, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced that the United States was establishing a dispute settlement panel under the USMCA.  The panel announcement followed extensive engagement by the United States with the Government of Mexico on its biotechnology policies, including:

On January 30, 2023, the United States sent a formal, written request to Mexico under the USMCA Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) Chapter (Article 9.6.14) for “an explanation of the reasons for” and “pertinent relevant information regarding” certain Mexican measures concerning biotechnology products. 
In March 2023, the United States requested and held technical consultations with Mexico regarding its biotechnology measures under the USMCA SPS Chapter, but the consultations did not resolve the matter. 
In June 2023, the United States requested and held dispute settlement consultations with Mexico regarding its biotechnology measures under the USMCA Dispute Settlement Chapter, but these consultations also failed to resolve the matter.

Throughout our engagements, the United States has been clear that it would consider all options, including further steps to enforce U.S. rights under the USMCA, if Mexico did not return to science- and risk-based biotechnology policies that are in compliance with USMCA commitments. 
USTR officials have worked closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on this matter.  The U.S. Government, in consultation with stakeholders, will continue to work to obtain Mexico’s full compliance with its USMCA commitments.