Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 08/2012

The Cost to Mexico of U.S. Corn Ethanol Expansion

Timothy A. Wise

May 2012

Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University


How much have U.S. ethanol policies pushed up corn prices? And how much have these higher prices cost developing countries dependent on imports for their staple foods? According to a new Working Paper by Timothy A. Wise, it cost Mexico between $1.5 and $3.2 billion from 2006 and 2011, when U.S. corn ethanol production expanded dramatically and food prices rose to alarming levels. The Working Paper, “The Cost to Mexico of U.S. Corn Ethanol Expansion,” was released May 16, 2012 in Mexico City on the eve of a key meeting of vice ministers of agriculture from the G-20 countries. They were meeting to set the G-20 agenda on food security in advance of the G-20 summit June 18-19, 2012 in Los Cabos, Mexico.