Mexican exports to the United States could be slowed down by the first trade disputes between the two countries via the T-MEC treaty between Mexico, the United States, and Canada, which will enter into force on July 1, and which could affect almost a dozen agricultural products.
The US Department of Agriculture has warned since 2018 that there is child labor in Mexico in the cultivation of green beans, coffee, cucumber, eggplant, melons, onions, poppies, tomatoes, and chili, among other products.
The president of Iqom commercial intelligence and the former secretary of Commerce and Industrial Development, Herminio Blanco Mendoza, stated that thanks to the new treaty, there could be sanctions against a country that uses child labor. The T-MEC allows a country to request that a panel reviews any breach in the labor commitments established in the treaty, such as freedom of association for employees, respecting collective bargaining, avoiding forced labor, child labor, and unacceptable working conditions regarding wages, working hours, and social security.
According to the president of the National Agricultural Confederation (CNA), Bosco de la Vega, the Mexican countryside faces different threats from the United States. In addition to the panels that can be opened against Mexico, the country also faces threats on the issue of seasonality, which would halt Mexican exports to the US market at certain times of the year.
It is worth mentioning that Mexico is the world's leading exporter of tomatoes with almost 25% of the total value of exports and the first supplier of this product for the United States. The Ministry of Agriculture of Mexico assured that the country was also the number one exporter of chili peppers and peppers and that the US market was their main destination as 78% of these exports are directed to this market.