Posts tagged with "Trade"

America will run out of avocados in three weeks if Trump shuts southern border

April 3, 2019

President Donald Trump’s has threatened again this week to close the U.S.-Mexico border, continuing his all-out effort to coerce the political leaders of both nations to block South American immigrants from coming across.

However, even a brief shutdown at America’s southern border would strain the economies of both nations by disrupting billions of dollars in trade, about $137 billion of which is in food imports.

Nearly 50% of all imported U.S. vegetables and 40% of imported fruit are grown in Mexico, according to the latest data from the United States Department of Agriculture.

From avocado toast to margaritas, American shoppers—who are heavily reliant on Mexican imports of fruit, vegetables, and alcohol—quickly would become bereft.

Indeed, the stoppage quickly would become “hard to swallow” for U.S. residents—especially those who love avocados, according to a report by Reuters. Those of us north of the border would run out of avocados in three weeks, if imports from Mexico were cut off, according to  Steve Barnard, CEO of Mission Produce, the largest distributor and grower of avocados in the world.

“You couldn’t pick a worse time of year because Mexico supplies virtually 100% of the avocados in the United Stated right now. California is just starting and they have a very small crop, but they’re not relevant right now and won’t be for another month or so,” Barnard said in an interview with Reuters.

In addition to avocados, the majority of imported tomatoes, cucumbers, blackberries, and raspberries come from Mexico. While there are other sources of produce globally, opening those trade channels would take time.

And shortages of fruit and vegetables will rack up the already-soaring prices at the cash register.

On the other side of the border, Mexico is the largest importer of U.S. exports of refined fuels like diesel and gasoline, some of which moves by rail. It is unclear if rail terminals would be affected by closures.

Research contact: @Reuters

Trump continues to ostracize Canada in trade talks

August 28, 2018

Just months after President Donald Trump said he would withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)—which had progressively eliminated tariffs between the United States, Mexico, and Canada since 1994—progress has been announced toward a new deal.

According to an August 26 report by Bloomberg, the POTUS still is threatening to leave NAFTA in the dust—saying on Monday that he would create a trade accord with Mexico that would eliminate Canada from the bloc.

Such a new pact would need to be approved by Congress before it could become effective—and that is unlikely. Although Canada has not been a party to recent talks, the potential for a two-country deal appears small, given opposition by Mexico, American lawmakers and North American industries whose supply chains rely on all three countries, the news outlet reported.

Trump announced the agreement with Mexico in a hastily arranged Oval Office event on August 27, Stars and Stripes said, piggybacking on the Bloomberg report, with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto joining by conference call.

According to the military news outlet, Pena Nieto said he is “quite hopeful” Canada would soon be incorporated in the revised agreement, while Trump said that remains to be seen.

The agreement with Mexico centers on rules governing the automobile industry, resolving a big source of friction, but leaves aside other contentious issues that affect all three countries.

Early on Monday morning, Trump tweeted, “A big deal looking good with Mexico!”

America’s trade relations with Canada have deteriorated in recent months, as President Trump has repeatedly carped on the country’s trade practices and Canadian leaders have insisted they will not rush to sign a deal that does not work in their favor.

On August 24, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said that Canada would be “happy” to rejoin the talks once the United States and Mexico had made progress on their specific issues. “Once the bilateral issues get resolved, Canada will be joining the talks to work on both bilateral issues and our trilateral issues,” Freeland said.

Trump has continued to inject uncertainty into the NAFTA talks, believing that the strategy gives his advisers an advantage at the negotiating table, the news outlets said. He has hit Canada and Mexico with hefty tariffs on their shipments of steel and aluminum and threatened further taxes on their cars.

Research contact: @EMPosts 

Trump tries to walk back ‘brutal’ comments on Brexit

July 16, 2018

As the POTUS and FLOTUS prepared to meet Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle on July 13, Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May was still recovering from an icy meeting with Trump at the NATO summit in Brussels—and from the president’s disparaging comments about her Brexit strategy in a newspaper interview published the same morning.

In a world exclusive interview with The Sun—characterized as “insulting” by the British public—President Trump said that May’s Brexit strategy was “soft” and that, “If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal.”

He also “tore into” London Mayor Sadiq Khan “for not standing up to terrorists,” and insisted that former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson would make “a great Prime Minister.”

Informed of the diplomatic damage he had done, the president then tried to walk it back at a press conference at Chequers, the prime minister’s 16th-century official country residence, The New York Times reported.

The U.S.-based news outlet described Trump’s attitude as “by turns defiant, fawning and dismissive about the interview,” saying, “He first tried to deny he had criticized the prime minister and blamed the embarrassing episode on the news media. When that rang hollow, he then tried to compensate by lavishing Mrs. May with compliments and, in the end, claimed that the slights were so insignificant that she had waved off his attempts at an apology.”

 “I didn’t criticize the prime minister; I have a lot of respect for the prime minister,” Mr. Trump told reporters during an outdoor news conference after he and Mrs. May had met for talks. He blamed “fake news,” claiming the report — in a right-wing, pro-Brexit, Murdoch-owned tabloid — had omitted his praise of Mrs. May. “I think she’s doing a terrific job, by the way,” Mr. Trump said, calling her “tough” and “capable.”

According to the Times report, President Trump admitted, “I did give her a suggestion — I wouldn’t say advice — and I think she found it maybe too brutal. As far as negotiating the deal, I probably would have done what my suggestion was to

Research contact: @JulieHirschfeldDavis