Mexico will seek a new accord with the United States to protect part of its agricultural products from impacts of the North American Free Trade Agreement, a presidential spokesman said on Monday.
Mexican Economy Minister Sergio Garcia de Alba and Agriculture Minister Francisco Mayorga Castaneda will fly to Washington next week to discuss the issue with U.S. officials beyond the framework of the trade agreement, spokesman Ruben Aguilar said.
The visit is made after Canada and the United States turned down Mexico's request to hold new negotiations about agricultural provisions of the free trade agreement, citing such talks were not necessary.
Under the trade agreement, import tariffs on white corn and kidney beans will be removed beginning in 2008.
Amid fears that the opening-up of parts of Mexican agricultural market will block economic development in rural areas, Mexican agricultural groups have repeatedly asked the government to alter the provisions of the agreement.
Aguilar said Mexico hopes the new deal will shield four or five "sensitive" products, including sugar, white corns, milk and kidney beans.
He added Mexico talked with the United States first because the sales of the sensitive products to the country were enormous.