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U.S. corn may be spared from Mexican tariffs

U.S. corn may be spared from Mexican tariffs

Mexico is the number one export destination for American corn

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

U.S. corn might not be hit in Mexico’s latest round of retaliatory tariffs.

President Trump announced on May 30 that the United States would impose a 5 percent tariff on all imports from Mexico beginning June 10 unless the country increased its immigration enforcement.

The tariffs could increase to as much as 25 percent by October 1 if Mexico doesn’t meet President Trump’s request.

In response, Mexico is creating a list of U.S. goods to tax.

Mexico’s economy ministry prepared the list and it doesn’t include one key U.S. ag commodity.

“The list submitted to the (Mexican) president’s office excludes U.S. corn,” two sources with knowledge of the situation told Reuters.

But that decision could change, one source said.

Mexico is a substantial market for U.S. corn.

The American ag industry exported more than US$3.3 billion of corn and corn products to Mexico in 2017-2018.

U.S. farmers support the need for immigration control but struggle with being pulled into the political conflict.

“I understand what the president is trying to do,” Angie Williams, a producer from Avon, Ind., told The Guardian Friday. “I support him, I just wish it didn’t affect us so personally.”

Farm groups like the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) would like to see a different approach to settling this dispute.

The organization “strongly urges the President to rethink applying new tariffs to Mexican goods and to reconsider using tariffs to address non-trade issues,” Lynn Chrisp, president of the NCGA, said in a May 31 statement.

Farms.com has reached out to the U.S. Grains Council and other corn groups for comment on the situation.

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