Mexico to denounce Costa Rica for suspending avocado imports

Eduardo Calzada Rovirosa, the Mexican Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food, confirmed to EL MUNDO on Thursday that Mexico will denounce Costa Rica to the World Trade Organization (WTO) for suspending Hass avocado imports claiming that they took this measure to defend their food security.

On Thursday morning, Calzada Rovirosa and his Costa Rican counterpart, Minister Luis Felipe Arauz, held a bilateral meeting in Mexico City to discuss the issue of avocado imports.

Asked about the encounter, Arauz said the meeting had been cordial and that the path of dialogue had not been closed yet. He also stated that, as a last resort, the Mexican secretary had asked Costa Rica to receive a delegation.

Meanwhile, Calzada Rovirosa said Mexico would denounce Costa Rica to the World Trade Organization.

"We reiterate our respect for our countries and trade between them. Last year we traded $250 million dollars in agricultural products to Costa Rica; however, as I must acknowledge here, there is an issue regarding Mexican avocado exports to Costa Rica. We will go to international arbitration panels in the WTO because we, as a nation, believe the information exchange protocols for the export of Mexican avocados to Costa Rica were not met. There is a difference with Costa Rica regarding this product. We've made that clear, the difference is only with this product," said Calzada Rovirosa.

According to the Mexican representative, Mexico can't be a threat to a country's food security as it is the biggest exporter of avocados in the world, with exports that amount to 2,000 million dollars, and Costa Rica is the only importing country that has suspended imports of this product.

"We believe we are right because our producers are very careful and we've always satisfied other countries," said Calzada Rovirosa.

Costa Rica imports more than 90% of its domestic consumption of avocado, mainly from Mexico.

According to Calzada Rovirosa, his government fears this would set a precedent that could lead to other importing countries to start making decisions without any support. As a result, Mexico wants the WTO to settle the dispute between both countries and decide who is right, Costa Rica or Mexico.


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