Industry Responds to U.S./Mexico Trade Deal
- by Kayla Webb
UNITED STATES - Over the weekend, the United States and Mexico announced a new deal to address a few of the challenges facing our industry and nation. As a result, the tariffs President Trump initially imposed on Mexico were avoided—and the industry is rejoicing. We reached out to a few key produce players to check the pulse of the industry and trade following the latest announcement. Here’s what they had to say…
“We are pleased that this potential impediment to trade between our two countries has been avoided,” Western Growers’ President and CEO Tom Nassif said in a statement. “Mexico represents one of the largest export markets for U.S. agricultural goods, and any tit-for-tat escalation of tariffs would be devastating for American farmers, in particular given the current barriers to access to Chinese markets.”
Nassif continued: “As significant as this deal is in maintaining our regular flow of trade with Mexico, it is equally critical in clearing the pathway for passage and implementation of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Like NAFTA before it, the USMCA maintains zero-tariff treatment for all produce, a provision that led to the tripling of U.S. exports to Mexico over the past 25 years. Additionally, the USMCA contains favorable terms that will advance science-based sanitary and phytosanitary measures and strengthen Mexico’s labor standards.”
With the threat of tariffs alleviated for now, Nassif also urged expediency of the process of passing the USMCA through Congress. The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) joined Nassif in advocating for USMCA approval, as well as the removal of all tariffs in order to maintain predictability and transparency in the marketplace.
In a statement, PMA added, “PMA maintains that trade is critical for the produce and floral industry and any threat to the flow of trade, including tariffs, will put our entire industry and consumers at a disadvantage. Consumers have become accustomed to year-round availability of fresh produce at an affordable price and imports from Mexico are a critical component of the solution for meeting year-round demand. In fact, according to USDA, Americans consume over $12 billion in Mexican fruits and vegetables every year.”
Dante Galeazzi, CEO and President of the Texas International Produce Association, also shared Nassif’s and PMA’s jubilation over the delayed tariffs, while also voicing reservations over implementing any sort of tariffs, even just the announcement of tariffs.
"Our members are pleased that the U.S. and Mexico were able to reach an agreement that will help the humanitarian situation at the southern border and that the tariffs did not go into effect. Even the threat of tariffs causes disruptions and economic losses when companies expend days and personnel to ready their organizations for compliance with these scenarios," Galeazzi stated. "We are hopeful that similar scenarios can be avoided in the future and that our business along the border can begin to experience a sense of normalcy returning to their operations.”
AndNowUKnow will continue to follow all developments regarding trade relations between the U.S. and Mexico, the USMCA, and everything else affecting fresh produce.