Working Groups Help Producers

Mexican producers' trade concerns are being addressed by U.S.-Mexico working groups.

U.S. and Mexican agricultural officials met in Mexico City earlier this year to discuss issues of trade, many of which pertained to the full implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement on Jan. 1. A livestock working group was formed to help create solutions to trade problems. USDA Undersecretary Mark Keenum says this follows the formation of a similar working group last year for corn and beans.

"There is a big issue of concern about the full implementation of NAFTA causing a big onslaught of inexpensive commodities coming in, flooding the Mexican and displacing these farmers," Keenum says.

Through the working group the U.S. has sent technical assistance to Mexican corn and bean producers to become more efficient, develop new varieties and explore other crops.

"This helps the Mexican government as well in working with their producers," Keenum says. "To better understand and present the facts to their growers to just what free trade can mean."

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