MEXICO CITY, MEXICO — Mexico is not planning to include corn on its list of U.S. products that could be hit by retaliatory tariffs, according to a Reuters report on June 5 citing anonymous sources.
Earlier this week, U.S. President Donald Trump pledged to apply a first round of tariffs on all Mexican imports next week if Mexico President Manual Lopez Obrador does not slow the flow of immigrants from Mexico into the United States.
Officials from both sides met on June 5 to try to reach a deal that would prevent a trade war between the neighboring countries.
Mexico is the top market for U.S. corn, importing millions of tonnes annually, particularly yellow corn imports that it uses to feed its growing livestock industry.
Mexico has been increasingly looking to Brazil as a corn source, and an industry analyst told Reuters on June 5 that corn importers recently booked a shipment of 35,000 tonnes from Brazil, the world’s second largest corn producer behind the United States.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the United States exported $19 billion in agricultural products to Mexico in 2018. In addition to being the top market for U.S. corn, Mexico is the biggest buyer of U.S. rice and also a major purchaser of soybeans and wheat.
U.S. farmers already are reeling from the nearly year-long trade war with China, the world’s top soybean importer, which has slapped a 25% tariff on U.S. soybeans in retaliation to the United States’ decision to place tariffs on aluminum and steel, among other products.