Mexico Taps Private Sector Again to Try to Keep Food Prices Down

Mexican officials on Monday announced the details of a new deal with companies to halt rising food prices, doubling down on a collaborative effort with the private sector as inflation hovers at a 22-year high, Reuters reported. More than a dozen foodmakers and retailers are part of the plan, which will waive certain regulatory requirements, Mexican Finance Minister Rogelio Ramirez de la O said. Signatories will be granted a license exempting them from quality checks from national health regulators Senasica and Cofepris as well as a general import tax, Ramirez said in a news conference with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The Mexican government "will suspend the review of any regulation that is considered to prevent or make the importation and entry of food or its movement within the country more expensive," Ramirez said. Ramirez added that tariffs and other import costs were included under the deal, which he said in a radio interview later in the day affects all food products, not just basic foodstuffs. The plan will also pause exports of white corn, beans, sardines and aluminum and steel scrap used in food packaging. The stoppage of white corn exports "is the strongest measure" that is being taken under the plan, with the hope of making Mexico self-sufficient in its production, Ramirez said in the interview. Read more.