Notice of intention to join the consultations as a third Party – Mexican measures concerning genetically engineered products
June 9, 2023
Ambassador Jayme White
Deputy United States Trade Representative
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
Dr. Alejandro Encinas Nájera
Undersecretary of Foreign Trade
Secretaría de Economía
c/o Vidya Desai
USMCA Secretariat, U.S. Section
1401 Constitution Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20230
Telephone No.: 202-482-5438
Fax No.: 202-482-0148
c/o Álvaro Castro Espinosa
TMEC Secretariat, Mexican Section
Pachuca No. 189, 12th floor
Colonia Condesa, Demarcación Territorial Cuauhtémoc
C.P. 06140, Mexico City
Telephone No.: +52 55 57 29 91 00 Ext. 15011
Pursuant to Article 31.4.4 of the Agreement between Canada, the United States of America (United States) and the United Mexican States (Mexico) (CUSMA), the Government of Canada hereby gives notice of its intention to participate in the consultations initiated by the United States on June 2, 2023, with regards to certain Mexican measures concerning genetically engineered (“GE”) corn and other GE products.
Canada has a substantial interest in the matters raised by the United States in its consultations request. Like the United States, Canada is concerned with the rejections of certain biotechnology product applications covering GE corn, canola, cotton, and soybean. There is considerable agricultural trade within the three CUSMA Parties - Canada is a major producer and exporter of agricultural products, including those that are products of biotechnology, to the United States and Mexico.
When a key trading partner such as Mexico does not authorize biotechnology applications for Canadian agricultural exports, this creates an asymmetry in North American regulatory conditions that can lead to trade disruptions. Product developers also tend to refrain from commercializing innovative agricultural tools until they receive approvals in all major markets. Thus, the approach taken by Mexico in its decisions to reject biotechnology product applications may have a significant economic impact on Canadian producers, developers of innovative agricultural technologies, as well as consequences for trade flows into and out of Canada.
Moreover, Canada has an important systemic interest in ensuring the correct interpretation of the sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) obligations of CUSMA, namely that SPS measures are based on scientific principles, relevant international standards, guidelines and recommendations, or appropriate risk assessments. Canada also maintains that SPS measures shall not be more trade restrictive than required to achieve a Party’s appropriate level of protection and shall be applied only to the extent necessary to protect human, animal, or plant life or health.
Deputy Minister of International Trade, Global Affairs Canada
Government of Canada
c.c. Sean Clark, Secretary
CUSMA Secretariat, Canadian Section
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