The United States avoided a trade war with Mexico under the Obama administration in 2013 after signing an agreement that set a price floor for imports of Mexican tomatoes, but the Trump regime just backed out of the agreement and decided not to renew it.
Instead of renewing the agreement, the Trump regime has imposed tariffs of nearly 20 percent on Mexican tomatoes.
And since we are governed by arrogant nincompoops, Mexican officials are the only ones accurately describing what will happen next.
“As of tomorrow a tariff of 17.5 percent will be applied on the value of the product ... Mexican exporters will be affected, it’s going to affect their financial flows but that is going to be directly transferred to U.S. consumers,” said Mexican Deputy Economy Minister Luz Maria de la Mora. [...]
Mexico exports around $2 billion worth of tomatoes to the United States annually, according to de la Mora.
A trade war over tomatoes was averted twice since the 1990s, most recently in the 2013 deal that put a price floor on Mexican tomatoes sold in the United States while barring U.S. growers from pursuing anti-dumping charges against Mexican exporters.
The Mexican minister is correct. The cost of Trump's new tariffs on tomatoes will be transferred to American consumers.
Even if you buy tomatoes that were grown inside the United States, the cost of those will also increase as the overall supply of tomatoes is reduced by tariffs.
But that is, after all, why lobbyists from the agricultural industry encouraged the White House to make this decision. Higher prices for tomatoes means more profits for them, but it's bad news for almost everyone else.
It remains to be seen how Mexico will retaliate, but I think we can presume that they will impose their own tariffs on American agricultural products. And in that case, the short-sighted lobbyists who sought this confrontation may no longer feel so good about it.
No one wins a trade war. Everyone gets hurt.