Avocados, Chili Peppers, Beer: Where Mexico Border Tax Would Hit

Updated on
  • Mexican food, drink imports into U.S. were $21 billion in 2015
  • Biggest categories are vegetables, fruit, wine and beer

Trump’s Mexico Border Tax Would Hit Avocados and Beer

The 20 percent tax on imports floated by the Trump administration would affect a wide range of agricultural goods. Mexico exported $21 billion of food and drink north of the border in 2015, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  • Fresh vegetables -- The U.S. imported from Mexico $4.84 billion of tomatoes, onions, chili peppers and other vegetables. That’s more than four times what was purchased from Canada, the next biggest importer.
  • Fresh fruit -- There were $4.28 billion of shipments, including raspberries, strawberries and avocados. Mexico sells more than twice as much fresh fruit to the U.S. as the No. 2 importer, Chile.
  • Wine and beer -- Hold that Corona? Mexico led this category, supplying $2.7 billion, almost $1 billion ahead of its biggest competitor, Italy.
  • Snack foods -- With $1.72 billion of imports into the U.S., Mexico is No. 2 here, although Canada sells roughly twice as much.

Despite running an overall trade deficit with Mexico, U.S. food and drink exports to its southern neighbor don’t lag far behind, at $17.7 billion for 2015. The U.S. typically carries a trade surplus with its southern partner in years when grain and oilseed prices are high, as they were for most of the previous decade. Mexico was the biggest buyer of U.S. corn, soybean meal, rice and dairy products in 2015.

2015 was the first year the U.S. had an agricultural-trade deficit with Mexico since 1995.

— With assistance by Jeff Wilson

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