Mexico has announced that it will impose a 50% tariff on imports of white corn, as part of its efforts to implement protectionist measures. This decision comes after a six-month waiver on tariffs. The 50% import tariff will remain in effect until December.
In an attempt to alleviate inflationary pressures, Mexican authorities started eliminating import duties on 21 essential goods last year. In January, white corn was added to the list, but a 50% export tariff on the grain—a fundamental component of the Mexican diet—was implemented. According to data from the Agriculture ministry, Mexico produced nearly 23 million tonnes of white corn last year, while imports between January and October 2022 amounted to just 614,000 tonnes, with only a small portion being exported.
The reintroduction of import tariffs on white corn follows a commitment made by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to ban genetically modified (GMO) corn and phase out the use of the herbicide glyphosate by 2024. However, the United States and Canada argue that this move violates trade laws.