Brocker.Org: Some Mexicans want to retaliate in opposition to Trump by boycotting a $two.five billion export


hold placards with corn-cob drawings in the course of a protest march
in opposition to Monsanto, the world’s major seed enterprise, in Mexico
Town, Might 21, 2016.


A lot of in Mexico have contemplated how Mexico could retaliate in opposition to President Donald Trump
considering the fact that he debuted his anti-Mexican rhetoric in the course of the campaign.

In the months right after Trump’s election, as his hardline on trade
relations and immigration remained company, Mexico’s authorities
appeared to define how it could rebuke the US authorities really should
it put in hostile insurance policies.

“If they location on us a tax on Mexican exports,” Foreign Minister
Luis Videgaray informed the Chamber of Deputies in late February,
according La Jornada, “we are heading to put one on them,
but superior, for the reason that we are heading to choose [these exports] which
damage them.”

His remarks came a couple of times right after Overall economy Minister Ildefonso
Guajardo mentioned Mexico required to prepare to straight away
“take a fiscal action that clearly neutralizes” a prospective US
border tax.

Now a group of grassroots activists in the US legislators in
Mexico are trying to push the US’s southern neighbor toward a
specific goal: corn.

“So a group of us, Mexican immigrants in Arizona, satisfied right after the
inauguration to converse about what we can do to push again in opposition to
Trump. We recognized that listed here in Arizona we have lived by
related instances” right after SB 1070, the Arizona monthly bill that imposed harsh
immigration measures, mentioned Daniel Rodriguez, founder of the group
No Maiz

Trump Nieto Mexico
President Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto
in Mexico Town.


“By some exploration we identified that Mexico is a massive importer of
American corn, and that the the vast majority of that corn is exported
from Midwestern states, these as Nebraska, Indiana, and, of
training course, Iowa — states who voted closely in favor of President
Trump,” Rodriguez mentioned in the course of a press contact. “For that reason we
agreed that a boycott in opposition to American corn would be the most
politically and economically productive campaign that we could
start in reaction to Trump’s attacks.”

The group was equipped to pitch the concept to Mexican Sen. Armando Rios
Piter, a member of the remaining-wing PRD representing the state of
Guerrero who sales opportunities a congressional committee on international
relations, who in February introduced
a measure
to “eradicate the dependence on corn imports from
the United States.”

“I am heading to send a monthly bill for the corn that we are purchasing in the
Midwest and … change to Brazil or Argentina,” Rios Piter,
informed CNN in mid-February. It can be a “good way to
explain to them that this hostile partnership has consequences, hope
that it improvements.”

“The concept is that, on one hand, Mexico would mobilize a coalition
of US corn producers, as properly as states like Iowa and Illinois,
to lobby the Trump administration and Congress in favor of
NAFTA,” Roberto Simon, lead political analyst for Latin America
at FTI Consulting, informed Enterprise Insider.

“On the other, Mexico would start ‘looking extra to the South’ and
deepen its economic ties with the rest of Latin America — a
decades-old (and largely unfulfilled) guarantee of Mexican

Mexico corn maiz maize protest
march on the streets of Mexico Town, January 31, 2007. Countless numbers
of farmers and trade unionists protested in opposition to the climbing price tag
of tortillas. The banner reads “Without corn, there is no


For Mexico, corn, in every thing from a uncomplicated tortilla to
significant-fructose syrup, is a resonant challenge — significantly its
origin and its price tag.

The place had long been a hearty producer of the staple good,
but its output has steadily declined above the final two decades,
as its buys of corn from the US have risen considerably — from $391 million in 1995 to
$two.five billion in 2015.

Other people have pinned social and economic turmoil Mexico has viewed
above the final two decades on disruptions in the corn and
agricultural marketplaces connected to NAFTA.

“As closely backed US corn and other staples poured into
Mexico, producer prices dropped and little farmers identified
them selves not able to make a living,” Laura Carlsen, director of
the Americas system at the Middle for Worldwide Policy,
wrote in The New York Situations in November.
“Some two million have been pressured to leave their farms considering the fact that
Nafta. At the similar time, client meals prices rose, notably the
price of the omnipresent tortilla.”

For No Maiz Gringo, the push to boycott US corn has two fronts,
enjoying on the two regional developments and social and economic
bodyweight all-around corn in Mexico.

Mexico corn cob maize maiz protest
protester will take element in a march in Mexico Town, January 31,


“The to start with one is to recognize other countries that could
possibly sell corn to Mexico. Mexico has by now despatched a
delegation to the two Brazil and Argentina, two countries that have
by now expressed a willingness to sell corn to Mexico at a
less costly price tag than Mexico is currently finding from the United
States,” Rodriguez, a lawyer in Arizona, informed Enterprise Insider
in the course of a press contact.

“And second, element of the reason that we have gained wonderful
aid from the Mexican people at the rear of this campaign is for the reason that
an purpose of this campaign is also to pressure Mexico to make investments in
Mexican manufacturing of corn. Mexico made use of to create its possess corn
prior to the early nineties.”

“It was right after trade specials these as NAFTA and other individuals that Mexico
grew to become extra dependent on American exports,” he mentioned.

Rios Piter’s monthly bill has only been proposed, and the No Maiz Gringo
campaign is still in its early times. But rumblings about chopping
Mexican buys of US corn has struck a twine with American

“At the conclude of the working day, you push throughout the state you are heading
to see piles of corn dotted everywhere you go,” Lisa Richardson, of
South Dakota Corn, informed KSFY Information in mid-February. “We have the
major carryover, 21.five billion bushels of corn in this place,
we just want obtain to extra marketplaces, not a lot less.”

Corn farmer IllinoisJim

“If we do in truth see a trade war exactly where Mexico commences purchasing from
Brazil … we’re heading to see it impact the corn market place and
ripple out to the rest of the ag financial system,” Darin Newsom, senior
analyst at DTN, an agricultural management company, informed CNN final thirty day period.

Some American producers have been doubtful Mexican consumers would consume
the added cost of purchasing somewhere else, but they have been
careful about exactly where things could go.

“We have designed these associations with consumers from Mexico for
decades and they acquire from the United States for a good reason
for the reason that it’s a good acquire appropriate now and it is incredibly aggressive, and
most consumers — we really do not think — will pay out an extra—whatever it is,
$10 a ton more—to acquire from our opponents,” Thomas Sleight,
president and CEO of the US Grains Council, informed Fox Enterprise in late February.

“But it is finding political and we all know bizarre things can
come about.”

Other prospective sellers are on board with a possible Mexican
shift in corn purchasing.

Mauricio Macri Michel Temer Brazil Argentina president
President Mauricio Macri, remaining, and his Brazilian counterpart,
Michel Temer, trade files right after a meeting at the Planalto
Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, February seven, 2017.

REUTERS/Adriano Machado

“Nations like Brazil and Argentina — which have not long ago
pivoted to a much extra open up technique to trade, and are the two large
corn producers — clearly welcome this concept,” Simon, of FTI
Consulting, informed Enterprise Insider.

In meeting right after Trump’s inauguration, the two Argentine President
Mauricio Macri and his Brazilian counterpart, Michel Temer,
“publicly spoke about the ‘need’ to deepen Mercosur’s ties with
Mexico. Trump was not explicitly pointed out, but every person
recognized the concept,” Simon included.

Mexico and Argentina have been by now conducting trade talks in the
months prior to Trump’s election, and Mexico is slated to
start importing corn from the South American
place this 12 months.

But, in Mexico Town, political aspects may possibly preclude a wholesale
shift toward new marketplaces.

Enrique Pena Nieto
Mexican President Enrique
Peña Nieto.


“The president and customers of his cabinet imagine that building
retaliation threats in opposition to the US even prior to NAFTA talks get started
would be counterproductive,” Simon mentioned. “What we are viewing is a
company, but conciliatory tone merged with a wait-and-see technique
— specially for the reason that the terms of the renegotiation are still

The Mexican authorities is also sure to be cautious of retaliatory
tariffs on US items or of shifting suppliers, the two of which could
negatively impact client prices at time of inflationary
pressure in Mexico.

Climbing gas prices and fears about rises in other client prices
sparked common, and from time to time violent, protests in the course of Mexico
previously this 12 months.

This kind of price tag hikes have “direct political consequences, these as the
new wave of protests prompted by a spike in the price tag of gas,
the ‘Gasolinazo,'” Simon mentioned. “Peña Nieto will have to shift incredibly