Mexico is ready to take revenge by injuring American corn farmers

Mexico is ready to take revenge by injuring American corn farmers

Mexico is ready to hit the US where it hurts: Corn.

Mexico is one of the best buyers of American corn today. And Mexican Senator Armando Rios Peter, who heads Congressional Foreign Relations Committee, says he will present a bill this week where Mexico will buy corn from Brazil and Argentina instead of the United States.

This is one of the first signs of potential concrete action by Mexico in response to President Trump’s threats to that country.

“I’m going to send a bill for corn we buy in the Midwest and … change to Brazil or Argentina,” Rios Peter, 43, told CNN’s Leyla Santiago on Sunday in anti-Trump protest in Mexico City.

He added: “It’s a good way to tell them that this hostile relationship has consequences, that it’s changing. ”

American corn is becoming a major food in the country. In Mexico City, from the best dining restaurants to taco stalls on the street, you can find your favorite corn-based products like tacos everywhere.

Related: Daughter of a Mexican farmer: OIL has destroyed us

America is also the world’s largest producer and exporter of corn. U.S. corn shipments to Mexico were catapulted from NAFTA, a free trade agreement signed between Mexico, America, and Canada.

U.S. farmers sent $ 2.4 billion worth of corn to Mexico in 2015, the last year of available data. In 1995, a year after NAFTA became law, corn exports to Mexico amounted to just $ 391 million.

Experts say such a bill would be very expensive for U.S. farmers.

“If we really see a trade war where Mexico starts buying from Brazil … we’ll see it affect the corn market and unravel the rest of the agricultural economy,” says Darin Newsom, a senior analyst at DTN, an agricultural management firm.

Rios Peter’s bill is another sign of Mexico’s readiness to respond to Trump’s threats. Trump wants to force Mexico to pay for the wall at the border, and is threatened with a tax on Mexican imports ranging from 20% to 35%.

Trump wants that too negotiate NAFTA. He blames it for the flood of manufacturing jobs in Mexico. Non-partisan Congress research The report found that to be incorrect.

Related: Mexico doubles Trump’s ‘coincidence plan’

Still, Trump says he wants a better trade deal for the American worker – though he hasn’t said what a better deal looks like.

All parties announced two weeks ago that negotiations would begin in May, after a 90-day consultation period.

But Trump says if the negotiations do not carry the deal he wants, he threatens to withdraw from NAFTA.

Mexican leaders like Rios Peter, such difficult talks were not well received. He is not alone. Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said that in January, Mexico will “immediately” respond to any tariffs from Trump.

“It is very clear that we must be ready to be able to immediately neutralize the impact of a measure of that nature,” Guajardo said he said on January 13th on a Mexican news show.

– Shasta Darlington contributed to the reporting of this story

CNNMoney (Mexico City) First published on February 13, 2017 at 12.06. ET

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