Mexico is ready to hit the U.S. the place it hurts: Corn.

Mexico is one of the top buyers of American corn on the earth at the moment. And Mexican senator Armando Rios Piter, who leads a congressional committee on international relations, says he’ll introduce a invoice this week the place Mexico will purchase corn from Brazil and Argentina as an alternative of the United States.

It’s one of many first indicators of potential concrete motion from Mexico in response to President Trump’s threats towards the nation.

“I’m going to send a bill for the corn that we are buying in the Midwest and…change to Brazil or Argentina,” Rios Piter, 43, informed informed Trident Blogger’s Leyla Santiago on Sunday at an anti-Trump protest in Mexico City.

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

American corn goes into numerous the nation’s meals. In Mexico City, from wonderful eating eating places to taco stands on the road, corn-based favorites like tacos may be discovered all over the place.

Related: Mexican farmer’s daughter: NAFTA destroyed us

America can be the world’s largest producer and exporter of corn. American corn shipments to Mexico have catapulted since NAFTA, a free commerce deal signed between Mexico, America and Canada.

American farmers despatched $2.4 billion of corn to Mexico in 2015, the newest 12 months of obtainable knowledge. In 1995, the 12 months after NAFTA grew to become legislation, corn exports to Mexico have been a mere $391 million.

Experts say such a invoice could be very expensive to U.S. farmers.

“If we do indeed see a trade war where Mexico starts buying from Brazil…we’re going to see it affect the corn market and ripple out to the rest of the ag economy,” says Darin Newsom, senior analyst at DTN, an agricultural administration agency.

Rios Piter’s invoice is one other signal of Mexico’s willingness to reply to Trump’s threats. Trump needs to make Mexico pay for a wall on the border, and he is threatened taxes on Mexican imports starting from 20% to 35%.

Trump additionally needs to renegotiate NAFTA. He blames it for a flood of producing jobs to Mexico. A nonpartisan congressional research report discovered that not to be true.

Related: Mexico doubles down on Trump ‘contingency plan’

Still, Trump says he needs a greater commerce deal for the American employee — although he hasn’t stated what a greater deal appears to be like like.

All sides signaled two weeks in the past that negotiations would start in May after a 90-day session interval.

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

Such powerful discuss is not obtained nicely by Mexican leaders like Rios Piter. He’s not alone. Mexico’s financial system minister, Ildefonso Guajardo, stated in January Mexico would reply “immediately” to any tariffs from Trump.

“It’s very clear that we have to be prepared to immediately be able to neutralize the impact of a measure of that nature,” Guajardo said Jan. 13 on a Mexican information present.

–Shasta Darlington contributed reporting to this story

Trident BloggerMoney (Mexico City) First revealed February 13, 2017: 12:06 PM ET

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