U.S., Mexico, Canada are worlds apart for dairy farmers; here are the major differences and how the dairy industry works in each country

close up photo of cow
Photo by Matthis Volquardsen on Pexels.com

10/18/19 – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Rick Barrett

Wisconsin farmers are not alone in facing the dairy crisis. But farmers in Canada and Mexico — the nation’s two largest dairy trading partners — are experiencing global trade forces differently.

Operating in a protected system, dairy farmers in Canada benefit from stable milk prices. Those in Mexico, though, have struggled amid a wave of imports from the U.S. Here’s a look at the diary industry in the three countries.

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Mexican Senate set to pass bill to legalize marijuana in next few days

marijuana leaf

10/16/19 – Reuters

By Diego Oré David Alire Garcia

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a leftist critic of Mexico’s longstanding drug war, has since last year signaled his openness to the decriminalization of marijuana as part of a broader shift on security policy.

Sen. Ricardo Monreal, the leader of Lopez Obrador’s MORENA party in the upper chamber of Congress, said in an interview late on Monday that a vote on the proposal will take place later this week or next week.

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Saving Mexico’s Native Corn With Sustainable Furniture

red and black corn
Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

10/08/19 – Clean Technica

By Anne-Sophie Garrigou

As creators of desire, we are in a privileged position to change what people want and what they ask from the market.” — Fernando Laposse

Fernando Laposse is a Mexican designer who is drawing most of his inspiration from Mexico, its people, its craft, and their relationship to the natural world. Fernando strives to transform cheap and often waste materials to create gorgeous furniture. His projects aim to raise questions regarding whole system thinking, ephemerality, patterns of consumption and the politics of food production. We talked with Fernando about the role of design in raising awareness towards sustainable issues and he introduced us to one of its latest project: Totomoxtle, which showcases the range of species of native corn that exist in Mexico.

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U.S. Commerce Strikes Deal on Mexican Tomato Imports

08/21/2019- Reuters

By David Shepardson

tomatoThe U.S. Commerce Department said Wednesday it had reached a deal with Mexican tomato growers to suspend an ongoing antidumping investigation.

In May, Commerce said the United States would impose a 17.5% tariff on Mexican tomato imports after the two countries were unable to renew a 2013 agreement.

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Deal or No Deal for Mexican Tomato Growers

8/20/2019- POLITICO

By Sabrina Rodriguez

With help from Megan Cassella and Jakob Hanke

 The Commetomatorce Department today could announce a new deal to govern tomato trade with Mexican growers — or state there’s no agreement and move forward with finalizing an anti-dumping duty on imports within 30 days.

Both sides remain in disagreement over a requirement that Mexican tomatoes be subject to border inspections. Commerce originally wanted to require inspection of all tomatoes Mexico shipped across the border. But last week, it revised its proposal to require that 50 percent of all tomato imports be subject to inspection by the Agriculture Department. Mexican growers have argued they are not against inspections but that Commerce’s proposed process would subject them to arbitrary delays at the border with no legal recourse.

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Mexico says tariffs will send tomato prices soaring in US

5/8/2019 – The New York Times

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s Economy Department said Tuesday that U.S. consumers could pay 38% to 70% more for tomatoes after the U.S. Commerce Department announced it would re-impose anti-dumping duties on Mexican imports.

The Mexican agency said the country exports about $2 billion in tomatoes to the United States and supplies about half the tomatoes the U.S. consumes annually.

It said that many small- and medium-sized Mexican tomato exporters won’t be able to pay the deposits required to export. Tomatoes are Mexico’s largest agricultural export after beer and avocadoes, and tomato growing and harvesting provides about 400,000 jobs in Mexico.

But the deposits required to comply with the 17.5% U.S. tariff would amount to about $350 million, money that many Mexican producers don’t have.

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It’s ‘Guacanomics.’ Trump’s threat to close the U.S.-Mexico border threatens avocados.

5/3/2019 – The Washington Post

photo-1449339854873-750e6913301b.jpgJeremy Bagott is the author of “Guaconomics.”

When President Trump began blustering in late March about shutting the border with Mexico, possibly blocking produce-laden trucks and other cross-border commerce, long-suffering U.S. avocado growers could have been excused if they had erupted in a fit of pre-Cinco de Mayo merriment and broken out some strictly U.S.-sourced guacamole.

Avocado growers in California, who once produced 90 percent of the avocados consumed in the United States, remember 1997 as the year of the original sin, when the U.S. Agriculture Department substantially lifted an 83-year-old ban on the importation of Mexican avocados. The ban had been enacted in 1914 to safeguard U.S. avocado production from pests such as the seed weevil. As protectionist measures fell after passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993, the acceptance of avocados grown in Mexico in turn safeguarded U.S. exports of corn, pork and dairy products to Mexico.

The flow of creamy green gold from Mexico clearly whetted American appetites. In 1989, annual per capita avocado consumption in the United States had been just 1.1 pounds. By 2017-2018, the average American was downing 7.47 pounds of avocados a year.

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How to Measure the Price of Avocados – and How Trump’s Threats Change It

4/9/2019 – Bloomberg

Fruit-Hass-Avocado-Harvest-Avocados-Picked-Green-882635.jpgBy Andrea Navarro

There’s little doubt that Donald Trump’s border threats have helped push up Mexican avocado prices as buyers look to lock in supply. Measuring those gains can be trickier.

After all, avocados are a commodity only in the broad sense — they don’t trade on exchanges like soybean futures in Chicago or copper in New York.

Relatively opaque fruit and vegetable markets such as avocado start with producers. One gauge of the Hass variety from Michoacan, the heartland of Mexican production, jumped 34 percent last week and was up another 2.6 percent Monday to 400 pesos ($21.09) a box, the highest since May. Per kilogram (2.2 pounds), the price jumped to 44.44 pesos from 32.22 pesos a week ago.

Still, that’s just an average supplied by the government based on daily surveys in Mexico City’s Central de Abastos, the capital’s bustling wholesale-produce market. Prices vary depending on the product’s final destination and are subject to lags.

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U.S.- Mexico Border Closing Would Shut Carmarkers and Cripple Farm Goods By Mike Dorning

4/3/2019 – Bloomberg

photo-1535379453347-1ffd615e2e08.jpgBy Mike Dorning

U.S. auto production would grind to a halt in a week, while pork producers and dairy farmers would be shut out of their largest export market. Grocery shoppers would quickly face shortages of avocados, tomatoes and other produce or steep price increases as supplies plummet.

President Donald Trump has been short on details about his threat to close the border with Mexico to cut off illegal immigration, and even inside the White House aides are unsure how — or even if — he’ll follow through. But any move that would shut down or hinder $1.7 billion in daily cross-border trade would have far-reaching consequences for the U.S. economy.

Amid warnings from his Republican allies and his advisers, Trump on Tuesday dialed back somewhat from his threat by tweet last week to shut the border if Mexico didn’t stop the flow of Central Americans heading north. He suggested the U.S. could “close large sections of the border, maybe not all of it.”

Mexico, U.S. officials discuss tomato trade dispute: economic minister

3/28/2019 – Reuters

02-03-2019-FOTO-05-TANDAS-PARA-EL-BIENESTAR-CHIHUAHUA-1024x681.jpgMEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican Economy Minister Graciela Marquez said on Wednesday she had spoken with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross about the U.S.-Mexico trade relationship.

“Among other issues, I asked for his support in finding a solution for the tomato suspension agreement,” the Mexican official wrote in a post on Twitter.

The U.S. Commerce Department said in early February that the United States would resume an anti-dumping investigation into Mexican tomatoes, withdrawing from a 2013 managed trade deal that U.S. growers and lawmakers say has failed.

At the time, Commerce said it was giving the required 90-day notice before terminating the six-year-old agreement not to pursue anti-dumping cases against fresh tomato imports from Mexico.

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