Advertisement
Share

Opinion: After their market was flooded with subsidized U.S. corn, Mexican farmers had an option: Go north.

In 2008, demonstrators in Mexico City carried a homemade replica of a corn during a mass protest against the NAFTA-mandated removal of tariffs on agricultural imports.
(Eduardo Verdugo / ASSOCIATED PRESS)

To the editor: Your report on corn exports from the United States to Mexico misses a very important issue. You state, “For now, U.S. farmers have a clear advantage over South American sellers, thanks to proximity and a logistics system built up over decades, plus duty-free access that gives the U.S. an additional edge on prices.” (“Mexico’s bargaining chips with Trump? How about a corn boycott,” March 29)

American corn exports to Mexico are government subsidized, and when the North American Free Trade Agreement was implemented, the Mexican maize farmer could no longer compete against government-subsidized U.S. corn exports and left the land.

Where did they go? A lot came north to feed their families.

Roy Fassel, Los Angeles

Advertisement

..

To the editor: This article mentions that Mexico has been growing corn for 10,000 years and in modern times Mexican farmers were doing well selling corn to the world. That changed in the 1980s, when the United States came into the picture with subsidies to American farmers, making American corn cheaper.

In addition, NAFTA “devastated” Mexican farmers. Small farms could not compete with U.S. agribusiness.

Now comes President Trump, who has criticized free-trade deals and will hopefully restore the balance and give world farmers a chance to feed their own people. These trade agreements may help the U.S., but they harm other countries. Remember the saying, “Give a person a fish and he eats today; teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime”?

Mexico should increase corn production and save the ancient varieties. This will grow their economy and keep Mexicans working in their country.

Mary Wiser, Van Nuys

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook


Advertisement