It’s foolish not to consider the consequences of your actions.
So while the rhetoric heats up over Mexican tomato imports, we remain optimistic the U.S. Commerce Department will not terminate the price agreement with Mexican tomato growers and impose anti-dumping duties.
A few months ago, the Florida tomato industry persuaded the Commerce Department to release a tentative plan to kill a minimum price suspension agreement with Mexican tomato growers that has been in place since 1996.
We have a pretty good idea of what Mexico might do in response to tomato tarrifs.
We can look at recent history.
For instance, in November Mexico expanded the pest list and other barriers for U.S. potatoes crossing the border, just as U.S. potato producers felt they were close to gaining full access to the country, rather than being restricted to a 16-mile border zone.
Or we can look four years back, when Mexico imposed tariffs on nearly 100 U.S. export items in retaliation to Congress ending funding for the Department of Transportation’s Cross Border Trucking Pilot Program.
Caught in that crossfire were several U.S. fruits and vegetables, ranging from a 45% tariff on grapes to 20% on pears and strawberries, to 10% on lettuce and onions.
We have seen before, and we will see again, that Mexico doesn’t take trade barriers to the U.S. lightly.
The Commerce Department has much more work ahead of it if it doesn’t deal quickly and fairly with Mexican tomatoes’ access to the U.S. market.
Did The Packer get it right? Leave a comment and tell us your opinion.