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PULSE NEWS MEXICO

In order to help bring down the soaring costs of tortillas — one of the country’s most important food staples — the Mexican government on Monday, Jan. 16, announced that the export of white corn (used in tortilla flour) will now carry a 50 percent tariff.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) and the secretaries of the economy and Treasury, Raquel Buenrostro and Rogelio Eduardo Ramírez, respectively, made the announcement of the new tariffs late Monday night, adding that the tax will remain in effect at least through June 30.

In addition, the importation of white flour corn will be exempt from paying tariffs as long as it is also for human consumption and is not genetically modified.

In a statement, the government said that “the supply and production of white corn in our country are important factors in determining its price and, therefore, also that of the various consumer products made from it, mainly tortillas.”

In order to guarantee a sufficient supply, the statement said, “it is necessary to maintain national production in our country and ensure market conditions that allow its price to stabilize.”

In the justifications for the decree, they stated that the government has the power to restrict or prohibit either imports or exports in order to regulate foreign trade.

The new tariff went into effect on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

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