In an article published Friday in Politico, Contributor Mickey Kantor details the risks of a trade war that could result if the U.S. decides to cancel a tomato trade agreement with Mexico. Late in September, the Department of Commerce issued a preliminary decision to scrap a 16-year-old trade agreement governing the import of Mexican-grown tomatoes into the United States.
Kantor states that for those “who have watched the evolution of the tomato market over the last few decades,” the decision marks “a startling departure whose impact could be devastating.”
Kantor continues, “I say startling because the agreement, which the U.S. and Mexican governments adopted when I was Secretary of Commerce, has been one of the models of successful trade policy. Startling also because, if the U.S. government ultimately adopts the preliminary decision, it will reward a segment of the U.S. tomato growing industry that has simply not kept up with the innovation and quality of its counterparts in Mexico, likely set off a spiral of retaliation that will hurt American exporters of other commodities, and most certainly drive up the price of tomatoes here. What’s more, it will pick a fight with Mexico, one of our biggest trading partners, that we don’t need and can easily avoid.”