Mexico Ready to Retaliate by Hurting American Corn Farmers
(CNN MONEY) Mexico is one of the top buyers of American corn in the world today. And Mexican senator Armando Rios Piter, who leads a congressional committee on foreign relations, says he will introduce a bill this week where Mexico will buy corn from Brazil and Argentina instead of the United States.
"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, told told CNN'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 a lot of the country's food. In Mexico City, from fine dining restaurants to taco stands on the street, corn-based favorites like tacos can be found everywhere.
America is also the world's largest producer and exporter of corn. American corn shipments to Mexico have catapulted since NAFTA, a free trade deal signed between Mexico, America and Canada.
American farmers sent $2.4 billion of corn to Mexico in 2015, the most recent year of available data. In 1995, the year after NAFTA became law, corn exports to Mexico were a mere $391 million.
Experts say such a bill would be very costly 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 management firm.