A spokesman for the Trump administration said it is considering a tax on Mexico imports as one of the options to fund construction of a border wall.
And then for the next week ... nothing.
We hope this means the Trump group floated an idea to the public to see how it was received - as it did countless times before the election - and it was dropped for being unpopular.
As of Feb. 2, Trump and his representatives haven't clarified or expanded on the idea, which produce industry leaders have said would create an unneccessary and damaging trade war.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer told media outlets in an informal briefing Jan. 26 that Trump was considering a 20% tax on Mexican imports, and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus later said a tax is one option for financing the border wall.
Mexico is by far the largest source for U.S. imports of fruits and vegetables, accounting for nearly $10 billion in 2015. That year, Mexico accounted for 68% of all U.S. fresh vegetable imports and 42% of all U.S. fruit imports, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Companies and groups that do heavy business in U.S.-Mexico trade have been cautious in their official comments, which is understandable.
Each day with Donald Trump as president seems like new territory.
The industry had guarded optimism that President Trump's promise of being a deal-maker would benefit fresh produce, and while the 20% import tax idea doesn't do it, each day since where it doesn't become reality, the optimism returns.
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