U.S. fruit growers, already burdened with new tariffs from China, now have to deal with duties from Mexico.
The Mexican government on Thursday, May 31, threatened to levy tariffs on apples, blueberries and grapes in response to President Donald Trump’s trade policies involving steel and aluminum.
Mexico is America’s largest apple export market; Washington alone ships more than $200 million worth of apples a year to Mexico.
“Faced with tariffs imposed by the U.S., Mexico will impose equivalent measures to various products such as flat steel …, lamps, pork legs and shoulders, sausages and food preparations, apples, grapes, blueberries, various cheeses, among others, up to an amount comparable to the level of affectation,” Mexico’s Ministry of Economy said in a statement Thursday.
Earlier Thursday, Trump announced that tariffs on imported steel and aluminum from the European Union, Canada and Mexico would take effect Friday, June 1.
The latest developments are likely to complicate the already-dragging negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The industry also is facing increasing tariffs on a number of fronts: In recent days, China and India also have imposed higher tariffs on U.S. fruit in the ongoing dispute over U.S trade policies.
– by Ross Courtney and Shannon Dininny