Karst chat with Jaime Chamberlain: focus on opportunities - The Packer

Karst chat with Jaime Chamberlain: focus on opportunities

02/27/2012 09:40:00 AM
Tom Karst

We have a $3 billion produce industry here. We have an $18 billion maquiladora industry here. Those are the positive things that I think we should be able to focus on. There are so many people blaming so many other people on why the economy is as bad as it is. I think we should try to focus on what is good, what is working and what is successful and try to build on that. To be honest with you, anytime you talk about Mexico the first thing everybody says is that it is violent. Well so is New York City. So is Chicago, Ill. So is Philadelphia for that matter. So is London, so is Singapore. There are a tremendous amount of violent countries out there that are having real problems. But as a neighbor to the U.S., I think it is extremely  important to lend attention to what is good about being neighbors with Mexico. One thing that is good with Mexico; look at Congressman Paul from Texas. The state of Texas trades $151 billion worth of goods with Mexico annually and over 800,000 jobs are impacted, just in the state of Texas. 

That’s what people don’t get. When a distributor in Nogales does business with a Mexican grower, it doesn’t just mean that he is importing foreign products into the U.S. My foreign products we import to the U.S. directly impact American jobs. Whoever doesn’t get that just doesn’t understand. Because we buy our packaging equipment from Georgia Pacific or International Paper. We buy our quarter boards we buy are strapping material in the U.S. Where do you think the seeds come from? The seeds come from Israel, they come from the states, from Monstanto, from Seminis, from Syngenta, from all over the place. Just in the agriculture business, where do you think our tractors come from and where are they made? What about our packing equipment?

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