USGC Board of Directors Meets In Mexico

The full U.S. Grains Council (USGC) Board of Directors is meeting in Mexico City, Mexico, this week to discuss the trade relationship between U.S. producers and Mexican end-users. 

“We felt it was really important for the board, and the board felt it was important, to meet with their customers face-to-face and hear what they have to say,” said USGC President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Sleight. “That physical presence means a lot to our Mexican trading partners.”

While in Mexico, directors were able to talk with both Mexican end-users and representatives of the Mexican government, including meetings with ANFACA, AMEPA and CONAFAB, major associations representing the local livestock feeding industries. The board discussed the current U.S.-Mexico trade environment, current pace of imports and the future of trade with the United States and alternative trading partners in South America. The meeting also included briefings from USGC staff in Mexico and representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). 

In addition to meeting with these valued customers, the group conducted regular business, including passing a fiscal year 2018 budget that will be presented to the USGC Board of Delegates in July for its approval. 

Thanks to the favorable terms in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), increasingly integrated logistics and close geographic proximity, Mexico is the largest export market for U.S. corn. Mexico purchased 524.4 million bushels (13.3 million metric tons) worth $2.5 billion last marketing year, in addition to 23.86 million bushels (606,127 tons) of sorghum, 5.3 million bushels (115,000 tons) of barley and 1.9 million tons of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS). 

Mexican buyers welcome these imports because U.S. feed grains provide a reliable supply of valuable nutrition for Mexico’s growing livestock, dairy and poultry sectors. USGC’s work in Mexico over the last 30 years has helped these businesses expand their operations, while also expanding the use of U.S. grain products throughout Mexico. 

USGC’s top priority as the governments of the United States, Mexico and Canada modernize NAFTA is to maintain this market access and keep this demand in place. The meetings in Mexico this week were able to show USGC directors first-hand the importance of a continued open trading relationship between the two countries. 

“The Board needs to hear these concerns for themselves,” Sleight said. “The full USGC Board of Directors going down to Mexico and demonstrating their support, demonstrating their interest in the marketplace, makes a very strong statement.”

Learn more about USGC's work in Mexico here