If you’re a millennial like me, odds are your refrigerator and recycling bin are currently jammed full of colorful cans and bottles of sparkling water. But an ongoing trade dispute about beef could directly affecting the choice of sparkling water available on your grocery store shelves.
North America has a sweet relationship — we are each other’s largest trading partners in chocolate.
Before NAFTA went into effect, Americans ate around one pound of avocados per person each year. Today, 82 percent of the avocados we consume in the United States arrive here from Mexico.
Americans may be among the world’s most prodigious consumer of turkeys, but turkeys have become an increasingly popular holiday food in Mexico. Ninety percent of the turkeys at those Mexican fiestas will have come from American farms – in part thanks to NAFTA.
A whopping 20 percent of the nearly 400 million pounds of cranberries we consume per year are eaten during Thanksgiving week alone. It’s a logical growth strategy to share our love of cranberries with global eaters year-round, but without a trade agreement with our largest markets, we could lose out to growers from other countries.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans headed to Starbucks for a seasonal pumpkin spice latte, the benefits of trade are right in your hand. Whether it’s Starbucks or a boutique coffee shop, the coffee we drink is imported. Because while the United States excels at growing many crops, coffee beans aren’t one of them.
The Supreme Court answered this question when it decided that under the Tariff Act of March 3, 1883, tomatoes would be considered a vegetable for the purpose of assessing a customs duty. Who knew the answer would relate to trade policy? And thanks to trade, we eat fresh tomatoes all year round.
Governments have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their food supplies, and to protect the health of the plants and animals that supply the food system. In negotiating trade agreements, countries have sought to balance the twin objectives of protecting human, plant, and animal health and ensuring the international flow of safe food.
People eat SPAM on every continent, including Antarctica. How much? 12.8 cans every second. Hormel keeps adding new flavors, like SPAM Teriyaki and SPAM Chorizo, to whet global appetites. Thanks to international trade, SPAM finds itself the centerpiece of comfort foods all over the world.
In 2016, American ranchers sold $6.3 billion worth of beef overseas, finding its way into traditional meat dishes from yakiniku in Japan to tacos al carbon in Mexico, and bulgogi in South Korea. And now, thanks to a new trade deal, they can sell beef to China too.