Mexico Could Soon Be Debating a Bill That Would Hit U.S. Farmers Hard
Since the start of his campaign in the summer of 2015, President Donald Trump has kept Mexico firmly in the crosshairs of his trade and immigration rhetoric, threatening to construct a wall on the southern U.S. border and to slap heavy import duties on Mexican goods entering the U.S.
Now, reports CNN, Mexico is ready to respond to Trump’s words with action.
Armando Rios Piter, a Mexican senator who leads a foreign relations committee in the legislature, has told CNN that he intends to introduce a bill to shift the country’s corn supplies from the U.S. to Brazil and Argentina, potentially hitting corn exports to Mexico by U.S. farmers, which were worth up to $2.4 billion in 2015.
The bill is a “good way to tell them that this hostile relationship has consequences,” the senator said. CNN said he made those comments during an anti-Trump march Sunday in Mexico City, reports CNN.
For more on how Trump’s proposed tax on Mexican imports can affect U.S. consumers, watch Fortune‘s video:
U.S. corn exports to Mexico have been on the rise since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came into effect over two decades ago, creating a single market without tariffs across Canada, Mexico and the U.S.
The value of U.S. corn exported to Mexico in 1995, when NAFTA was adopted, stood only at $391 million, according to CNN.
This isn’t the first indication from Mexico’s government that it is prepared to slap the U.S. with countermeasures if the Trump tariffs do come into effect.
The country’s economy minister was quoted as saying in January that Mexico “has to be prepared to immediately be able to neutralize the impact of a measure of that nature,” referring to the proposed hike in import duties for Mexican goods.