In a defensive move against Trump’s trade sanctions, Mexico is threatening the U.S where it hurts: corn.
“I’m going to send a bill for the corn that we are buying in the Midwest and…change to Brazil or Argentina,” said Mexican Senator Rios Piter.
Rios added that it would be a “good way to tell [the Trump Administration] that this hostile relationship has consequences, hope that it changes.”
Indeed, the potential chess move by Mexico could have drastic consequences for the American agricultural industry.
In 2015, American farmers sent $2.4 billion of corn product to their southern neighbor.
“If we do indeed see a trade war where Mexico starts buying from Brazil,” said Darin Newsom, an analyst at agricultural management firm DTN, “we’re going to see it affect the corn market and ripple out to the rest of the ag economy.”
The corn industry in America receives significant subsidies from the government, further reiterating how fragile the market might be in the event of a Mexico boycott.
However, American corn is also largely comprised of GMOs. In 2012, 88% of U.S. corn was genetically modified according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Unfortunately for Mexico, though, Argentina—one of the bill’s alternative choices for corn—recently approved new varieties of GMO corn.