Mex­ico may stop buy­ing US corn

New Straits Times - - Business -

MEX­ICO CITY: Mex­ico has iden­ti­fied a po­ten­tial weapon in its trade wran­gle with United States Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump: yel­low cobs of Amer­i­can corn.

Mex­ico im­ports bil­lions of dol­lars’ worth of corn from the US to feed its live­stock. But with Trump push­ing to shake up the coun­tries’ trade ties, Mex­ico is threat­en­ing to buy from else­where.

That is wor­ry­ing corn grow­ers in some of the very same US states that voted heav­ily in favour of Trump: Iowa, Dakota, Kansas, Mis­souri and Ne­braska.

Trump has vowed to re­strict free trade with Mex­ico in or­der to pro­tect US jobs and in­dus­try.

But with Mex­ico gear­ing up for a po­ten­tial trade bat­tle, the ef­fect could be the op­po­site.

“For US corn pro­duc­ers, Mex­ico is their No. 1 ex­port cus­tomer,” said US Grains Coun­cil pres­i­dent Thomas Sleight.

Mex­ico’s Agri­cul­ture Sec­re­tary Jose Calzada said Mex­ico was in talks with Brazil and Ar­gentina.

US grain is cheaper, at US$198 (RM876.40) a tonne. Brazil­ian corn costs US$210 a tonne and Ar­gen­tine corn US$217.

Trump has vowed to rene­go­ti­ate the North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment (Nafta) with Mex­ico and Canada. AFP

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