U.S. Misuses Trade Pacts to Undermine Food Sovereignty

The following article is adapted from a presentation I gave November 30 at a remarkable conference on Mexico’s transition to agroecology held in Oaxaca, Mexico. More than 1,000 participants strongly backed the government’s efforts to move the country’s large and diverse agricultural sector towards ecological farming. They do so despite cynical efforts by the U.S. government to use trade agreements to advance U.S. commercial interests even if that undermines food security.

The dispute mounted by the U.S. government over Mexico’s policies to restrict the use of genetically modified corn is the latest example of the misuse of a trade agreement to impede social programs in Mexico and other countries. The U.S. government has been doing this for years.

It’s all about boosting exports. U.S. agricultural policies favor and encourage the overproduction of crops such as corn, soybeans and wheat. They depress prices, with supply regularly exceeding demand.