Mexican lawmakers working to boycott U.S. corn could hurt area farmers

Published: Feb. 14, 2017 at 4:53 PM CST
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In Mexico, senators are working to introduce a bill to stop buying corn from the United States and instead buy corn from Argentina and Brazil.

If passed, the bill could hurt American farmers, including in South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa.

Mexico bought $2.4 billion worth of corn from the U.S in 2015.

The grain is a staple in many Mexican foods, and the U.S. is the world's largest corn exporter.

Threats of a corn boycott are in response to President Donald Trump's tough stances on the border with Mexico and NAFTA.

Lisa Richardson from South Dakota Corn said farmers in the state are already struggling with low corn prices, and this bill could take a huge toll on them.

"At the end of the day, you drive across the state you're going to see piles of corn dotted everywhere," she said. "We have the largest carryover, 21.5 billion bushels of corn in this country, we simply need access to more markets, not less."

Richardson said Mexico bought about 130 million bushels of corn from the U.S. last year, and if the bill fails, they are set to buy even more this year.