Increasing fears of trade war with Mexico
Groups that specialize in building export demand for U.S. ag products are increasingly concerned about the prospect of a trade war with Mexico.
Ryan LeGrand, director of the U.S. Grains Council office in Mexico, says tensions are high as President Trump threatens to re-work the North American Free Trade Agreement.
“We’re keeping a close eye on everything that’s coming out of the administration these days. We’ve heard talk about the potential for Mexican goods to be taxed upon entry into the United States. So we’ve been keeping a really close eye on that because we know that the Mexican government is ready to retaliate if that’s what the Trump Administration decides to do.”
Mexico is the number one importer of U.S. corn and barley, and number two customer of sorghum and dried distillers grains.
It’s appetite for red meat is also significant, as U.S. Meat Export Federation vice president of communications Joe Schuele says it’s hard to overstate the importance of the Mexican market.
“The duty-free access that we have to both Mexico and Canada are very critical. So, when we look at this situation, it’s one in which we’d really like to see our level of access protected if there is any type of reopening or renegotiation of NAFTA.”
LeGrand says he hopes government officials from both the U.S. and Mexico can identify what their strengths and weaknesses are, then negotiate around those.
Ryan LeGrand audio:
Joe Schuele audio: