Production limits and price-setting means Canadian milk drinkers pay significantly more than they would in a free market. Conversely, for certain lucrative and in-demand dairy product ingredients, Canadian dairy boards have set prices at or below international market prices. U.S. and other global dairy farmers have argued this offers Canadian exports an advantage in third markets, while driving global prices and farm receipts down. Will NAFTA 2.0 change any of this?
The implementation of NAFTA has allowed U.S. beef trade to flourish, and the efficient supply chains developed under NAFTA have also helped the U.S. beef industry become more competitive in Asia.
Farmers are price takers. For years, the export opportunities created by market opening policies have been positively reflected the price they get for their corn. But as we spoke about current trade policy with its frequent tariff announcements, the farmers were checking the current price of corn. “We’re down to 3.6!” a farmer from Michigan interjects as we talk about China.
There is plenty of collateral damage in a tariff war because the one-upmanship spills over beyond the sectors named in the original complaint (steel for example), sweeping in producers like farmers for maximum political effect. The other dirty little secret in tariff wars is that they provide cover for governments to protect the producers of products facing normal market competition. That’s what might just be motivating our closest trading partners to put American whiskey on their lists for tariff retaliation.
In early April, China announced $3 billion worth of tariffs on 128 U.S. goods including fruit, wine, nuts – and the type of American ginseng grown in Marathon, Wisconsin. With a new 15 percent tariff on their ginseng, Wisconsin growers worry they will lose sales to Canadian producers who compete for the same customers in China.
Farmers markets are a great way to shop fresh and seasonal, but if you can’t get there, you can still find an increasingly impressive selection of tomatoes at your local grocery store. To meet year-round demand, the business of the heirloom tomato has grown global.
American craft breweries sold 482,309 barrels valued at $125.4 million to customers overseas in 2017. Over half of those exports went north to our good beer-drinking friends, the Canadians. Mexican brewers are the largest customer for American barley. If NAFTA negotiations don’t go well, we may all see the cost on our tab.
For many years now, the U.S. Government has implemented a sugar program that ensures sugar producers and refiners get a minimum price for American-grown sugar. It’s a hidden tax paid for by Peep-lovers everywhere.
Although the steel and aluminum tariffs are promoted by the Trump administration as a strategy to seek fairness for those industries, the tariffs will incite retaliation by trading partners, imposing significant costs on large numbers of U.S. producers and consumers who have nothing to do with these industries’ grievances.
Thanks to trade, this Israeli snack food now featured at American Trader Joe’s stores may spur a whole new generation of Americans who feel the urge to call out – Aba, Ima, Bamba!