Mexico Is Moving Forward on a Plan to Hit U.S. Farmers Where It Hurts

2/17/2017 Fortune 

corn farmMexico’s attempts to diversify its supplies of corn could threaten a crucial market for U.S. farmers who are increasingly dependent on exports to unload record stockpiles that are depressing prices.

Mexico buys nearly all its corn imports from the United States – shipments that totaled 13.603 million tonnes in the year ending Aug. 31, 2016. The sales account for about 28% of total U.S. corn exports, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

But now Mexico wants to lessen that dependence as U.S. President Donald Trump threatens to upend trade between the countries. On Thursday, Mexico’s agriculture minister revealed plans to visit Argentina and Brazil to buy yellow corn.

A grain buyer at a corn mill in Mexico told Reuters in an email on Thursday he had already asked for price quotes from Brazilian and Argentine exporters for corn shipments to Mexico.

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Why Ditching NAFTA Could Hurt America’s Farmers More Than Mexico’s

2/16/2017 NPR

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via Flickr – Mike Mozart

Garland Reiter is one of the people behind the rise in imported food from Mexico.

His family has been growing strawberries in California for generations and selling them under the name Driscoll’s. Today, it’s the biggest berry producer in the world.

In the early 1990s, the Reiter family started growing strawberries and raspberries in Mexico, in addition to California. It found regions in Mexico where the climate allowed them to grow the fruit — especially raspberries — during seasons of the year when it hadn’t been feasible back home. “Our move really was for year-round product, and quality,” says Reiter, who is executive chairman of Reiter Associated Cos.

The North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect at that same time, in 1994. But that’s coincidence, Reiter says; NAFTA had very little to do with the move into Mexico. “To tell you the truth, we paid minimal attention to that,” he says.

Mexico ready to retaliate by hurting American corn farmers

2/14/2017 CNN Money

cornMexico is ready to hit the U.S. where it hurts: Corn.

Mexico is one of the top buyers of American corn in the world today. And Mexican senator Armando Rios Piter, who leads a congressional committee on foreign relations, says he will introduce a bill this week where Mexico will buy corn from Brazil and Argentina instead of the United States.

It’s one of the first signs of potential concrete action from Mexico in response to President Trump’s threats against the country.

“I’m going to send a bill for the corn that we are buying in the Midwest and…change to Brazil or Argentina,” Rios Piter, 43, told told CNN’s Leyla Santiago on Sunday at an anti-Trump protest in Mexico City.

He added: It’s a “good way to tell them that this hostile relationship has consequences, hope that it changes.”

American corn goes into a lot of the country’s food. In Mexico City, from fine dining restaurants to taco stands on the street, corn-based favorites like tacos can be found everywhere.

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Produce, Auto Parts, Electronics: How Mexico Tariff Could Cost Consumers

2/8/2017 CBS DWF

produceLAREDO The economic impact of President Trump’s executive order to build a U.S./Mexico border wall is already being felt in Laredo.

It’s the largest port of entry for imported goods from Mexico where every day some 12,000 trucks cross over.

“This is the most important bridge on the border. Forty percent of the traffic crosses through Laredo, and most of that traffic crosses through this particular bridge,” said President of Laredo’s Chamber of Commerce, Miguel Conchas.

He said that last year Laredo saw some $280 billion in goods cross the border.

“We see everything under the sun that comes through. Electronics, auto parts, and produce.”

And now that the Trump administration is considering a 5 to 20 percent tax increase on the goods to pay for the controversial border wall, many importers who deal in produce are left concerned how it will impact their business.

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Here’s a look at US trade with Mexico

2/7/2017 Bloomberg

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via Flickr – Michael Cannon

The state of US trade with Mexico is on the front page as policy makers attempt to stem the outflow of firms, jobs, and goods production from the United States. To put the issues in perspective, it is first helpful to have some facts on US trade in general and trade with Mexico in particular. By comparison with many countries, the US economy is still dominated by domestic production and consumption. In the euro area, for example, trade amounts to about 69% of GDP, and in the UK it is about 38%. In the US economy, by contrast, exports amounts to less than 16% of GDP, and imports are only about 12.5% as of yearend 2015.

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Soros-backed grain company eyes Trump trade in Mexican market

2/6/2017 Financial Times

cornA South American farming company backed by investors including George Soros aims to sell grain to Mexico as it capitalises on the country’s deteriorating trade relations with the US since Donald Trump’s arrival as president.

The move by Adecoagro embodies fears in the US agriculture sector that White House plans to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement could spoil a lucrative export market. The pact allows most agricultural commodities to trade freely among Canada, Mexico and the US.

The US last year sold $17.7bn worth of agricultural products to Mexico, the top destination for American corn, rice and dairy exports. Mexico buys 98 per cent of its corn imports from the US, according to International Trade Centre calculations.

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Trump puts U.S. food, farm companies on edge over Mexico trade

1/31/2017 Reuters

cornU.S. food producers and shippers are trying to speed up exports to Mexico and line up alternative markets as concerns rise that this lucrative business could be at risk if clashes over trade and immigration between the Trump administration and Mexico City escalate.

Diplomatic relations have soured fast this month, as the new U.S. administration floated a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports and a meeting between the presidents of the two countries was canceled. U.S. President Donald Trump has also pledged to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) trade deal with Mexico and Canada.

Mexico is one of the top three markets for U.S. farm production.

Some U.S. producers of corn, soybean meal and distillers dried grains (DDGs), an ethanol byproduct, are trying to accelerate sales to Mexico because they are uncertain about the risk for new tariffs to disrupt trade, said Rafe Garcia, general manager for U.S. operations at shipper Primos & Cousins USA.

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