Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Threat of Mexican ban on U.S. corn sharpens focus on trade

A Mexican lawmaker’s threat to ban the importation of U.S. corn would mean lower prices for South Dakota corn farmers at a time when prices are already low. Although South Dakota corn exports go primarily to Asia, lower corn prices nationally would hurt an industry already staggering from low commodity prices, said Lisa Richardson, the executive director of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association. Mexico is the largest importer of U.S. corn. But a Mexican senator says he will bring legislation to ban U.S. corn imports in favor of corn from Brazil and Argentina in response to President Trump’s proposals to tax Mexican exports to the United States and to block manufacturing jobs from moving to Mexico. Mexico can’t unilaterally block U.S. corn exports without running afoul of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Richardson said, but Trump has also indicated that he wants to renegotiate the treaty, which adds uncertainty to the market. “Trade is critical to agriculture. Period,” Richardson said. “I will also say that Donald Trump was elected by the bread basket of the world – 71 percent of this region.”...more

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