How Trump's Mexican Trade Agreement Affects American Farmers

How Trump's Mexican Trade Agreement Affects American Farmers
How Trump's Mexican Trade Agreement Affects American Farmers

President Trump is trying to live up to his promises to protect America’s farmers. As the US withdraws from a six-year-old agreement with Mexico on tomato imports, there’s controversy over whether the move will help. Many Democrats say it won’t make things better for US businesses, but Republicans and American tomato farmers are still standing with the President as of mid-February.
Agricultural globalization is great when it means we can get access to a wide range of products year-round. The problem is that it isn’t as useful when it means American farmers get undercut by foreign companies exporting to the USA. Incidents where Mexican farming entities attack US farmers by “dumping“ food at far below the cost of production have occurred for years, directly harming our own farmers in the process.
US tomato farmers want action, but is Trump going to help them?
Right now, the government’s main trade priority is getting Congress to approve the new US-Mexico-Canada agreement. It’s slated to replace NAFTA; overall, it looks like a good deal. But several lawmakers have highlighted issues that affect their own particular interests, including tomato imports.
By shipping tomatoes to the US at extremely low prices, Mexico can build up its share of the US tomato market at the expense of our own farmers. If they can take enough of the market to force US growers out of business, they’re well-placed to make big profits later by hiking their own prices to the national US production average.
In 1996, when the Clinton administration negotiated our last tomato deal with Mexico, the country’s share of US tomato sales started to rise sharply. Overall, it climbed from around 36 percent to 54 percent. There have been two other agreements since; both failed to halt the trend.
Now, Trump is withdrawing from a 2013 deal that suspended anti-dumping regulations in exchange for Mexican farmers accepting additional restrictions. The restrictions haven’t worked, so why keep them?
Scrapping the 2013 agreement means the US can influence the price of imported Mexican tomatoes. The goal is to prevent dumping, giving our own farmers a more level playing field. US tomato growers believe this will help keep them in the game. What do you think?