Mexico ready to retaliate by hurting American corn farmers

Anti-Trump protests take place across Mexico

Mexico is able to hit the U.S. the place it hurts: Corn.

Mexico is one of the top buyers of American corn on this planet at the moment. And Mexican senator Armando Rios Piter, who leads a congressional committee on international relations, says he’ll introduce a invoice this week the place Mexico will purchase corn from Brazil and Argentina as an alternative of the USA.

It is one of many first indicators of potential concrete motion from Mexico in response to President Trump’s threats towards the nation.

“I’ll ship a invoice for the corn that we’re shopping for within the Midwest and…change to Brazil or Argentina,” Rios Piter, 43, advised advised CNN’s Leyla Santiago on Sunday at an anti-Trump protest in Mexico City.

He added: It is a “good approach to inform them that this hostile relationship has penalties, hope that it adjustments.”

American corn goes into a whole lot of the nation’s meals. In Mexico Metropolis, from nice eating eating places to taco stands on the road, corn-based favorites like tacos may be discovered in every single place.

Related: Mexican farmer’s daughter: NAFTA destroyed us

America can be the world’s largest producer and exporter of corn. American corn shipments to Mexico have catapulted since NAFTA, a free commerce deal signed between Mexico, America and Canada.

American farmers despatched $2.4 billion of corn to Mexico in 2015, the newest 12 months of accessible information. In 1995, the 12 months after NAFTA turned regulation, corn exports to Mexico have been a mere $391 million.

Consultants say such a invoice can be very expensive to U.S. farmers.

“If we do certainly see a commerce conflict the place Mexico begins shopping for from Brazil…we’ll see it have an effect on the corn market and ripple out to the remainder of the ag financial system,” says Darin Newsom, senior analyst at DTN, an agricultural administration agency.

Rios Piter’s invoice is one other signal of Mexico’s willingness to answer Trump’s threats. Trump needs to make Mexico pay for a wall on the border, and he is threatened taxes on Mexican imports starting from 20% to 35%.

Trump additionally needs to renegotiate NAFTA. He blames it for a flood of producing jobs to Mexico. A nonpartisan congressional research report discovered that to not be true.

Related: Mexico doubles down on Trump ‘contingency plan’

Nonetheless, Trump says he needs a greater commerce deal for the American employee — although he hasn’t mentioned what a greater deal appears to be like like.

All sides signaled two weeks in the past that negotiations would start in Might after a 90-day session interval.

However Trump says if negotiations do not bear the deal he needs, he threatens to withdraw from NAFTA.

Such powerful discuss is not obtained properly by Mexican leaders like Rios Piter. He isn’t alone. Mexico’s financial system minister, Ildefonso Guajardo, mentioned in January Mexico would reply “instantly” to any tariffs from Trump.

“It’s extremely clear that we now have to be ready to right away be capable of neutralize the impression of a measure of that nature,” Guajardo said Jan. 13 on a Mexican information present.

–Shasta Darlington contributed reporting to this story

CNNMoney (Mexico Metropolis) First printed February 13, 2017: 12:06 PM ET

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