“OBAMA HATED MEXICAN TOMATOES; TRUMP HATES MEXICAN TRADE”
President Barack Hussein Obama delighted in kicking Mexico around. He chose Mexican trade in general and, in particular, Mexican tomatoes.
We know that Obama-appointed politicians supervised a massive gun-running program to Mexico benefitting the drug cartels. And that even after the Department of Justice Inspector General’s 18-month investigation that revealed the wildly unsuccessful program that littered Northern Mexico and Arizona with dead bodies not a single Democrat office holder was ever fired.
We know that during his initial 2008 campaign for President Barack Obama let everyone know that he wanted to renegotiate the fabulously successful North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that was instrumental in tripling trade between the U.S., Mexico and Canada and was critical to the creation of 20-million jobs President Clinton claimed between 1994 and 2000. Obama took the AFL/CIO propaganda line that NAFTA stole millions of American jobs and sent them to Mexico. That was untrue. Over its first ten years of operation, 50,000 jobs a year were documented to have been lost because of NAFTA which hardly balances out to the 20-million-plus American jobs created during its first six years.
Obama was just talking politics, for he sent a secret emissary to a Canadian Consul in Chicago to inform him that his renegotiation talk was just campaign mumbo-jumbo and to not worry about any renegotiation which Canada and Mexico were against.
Nevertheless, Obama running for reelection he desperately needed the State of Florida to vote for him again because if he lost Florida he loses the election. What did that have to do with Obama’s vendetta against Mexico? The answer: TOMATOS or is it TOMATOES?
According to the New York Times (September 27th, 2012), one in every two tomatoes consumed in the U. S. came from Mexico, mostly through Arizona.
The Times: “The United States Department of Commerce signaled then that it might be willing to end a 16-year-old agreement between the United States and some Mexican growers that has kept the price of Mexican tomatoes relatively low for American consumers. American (mostly Floridian) tomato growers say the price has been so low that they can barely compete.”
Florida’s tomato growers used to sell $500 million dollars-worth of tomatoes in the U.S. The Mexicans, however, have organized their tomato growing and marketing to such a high degree that Florida’s tomato crop only brings in $250-million.
Bruno Ferrari, the economy minister of Mexico, told the Times that Mexico’s tomato exports to the United States had more than tripled to $1.8 billion since the agreement of 1996. He told the Times that the Mexican tomato industry supported 350,000 jobs. Trade exerts recall the high tariffs Mexico slapped on United States producers of potatoes, pork and toilet paper — $2.4 billion worth of goods — during a trade fight over trucking that began in 2009 when Obama became President.
The Teamster-union backed Obama trucking fight with Mexico caused potato exports to Mexico to fall by more than 35 percent and growers lost $64 million in revenue as Mexicans shifted buying to Canada, the other NAFTA partner. American pork producers estimate that if Mexico slaps tariffs on pork, they will not only lose business to a major market but simply be unable to handle the millions of dollars they will lose if Mexico retaliates because of tomato import restrictions.
Obama’s Commerce Department did not, of course, admit that its move to respond to complaints from Florida was political but with regulations calling for the Department of Commerce to announce a decision on the complaints be made 40 days after publication, just before the election, only a chimpanzee would think this was not political.
Given, then, that (A) Obama actively campaigned against NAFTA one of the world’s largest and most successful trade agreements with Canada and Mexico, and (B) the Obama Administration created a gun-running program that delivered more than 2500 American weapons into the hands of Mexican drug cartels and caused hundreds of Mexicans and at least one American to die; and (C) instigated a 2009 attack on a cross-border trucking agreement that was part of the 1994 NAFTA agreement that caused American farmers and industrial producers to lose millions of dollars-worth of business and lost jobs – Obama’s public vendetta against Mexico and Mexicans stained his two-term administration the led directly to Donald Trump’s election.
If Obama had been successful in his attack against Mexican tomatoes, millions of Americans would have paid higher prices for tomatoes. American retailers would need to charge more for Florida tomato products. Higher prices mean fewer tomatoes will be sold at higher prices and millions of dollars that consumers currently keep to spend on something other than higher food prices will flow into the hands of a few Florida families.
Higher food prices and fewer Mexicans working; guess where unemployed Mexicans go to look for work.
Basic economics are little known to politicians, whether it be restriction of tomato-imports from Mexico or rebar steel manufactured from scrap metal sent to Mexico by American businesses. That is basic to all American construction.
Trade restriction manifests ignorance of basic trade. Doubts? Ask Midwest farmers who have lost billions during the tariff-burdened trade disagreement with China. Or ask all American contractors who use Mexican produced rebar on which imported cement is poured.
Did their costs go up, did their invoices grow? Are U.S. builders charging more for residential and commercial homes and buildings? Yes. We all pay.