Threat of tariffs placed on goods from Mexico brings impact for rice industry in Acadiana

Louisiana

President Donald Trump plans to put a 5 percent tariff on all goods from Mexico starting Monday…unless the illegal migration crisis is alleviated.

The trade penalties could rise to 25 percent by October if Mexico fails to act.

Analysts say tariffs on Mexican products could end up costing American consumers and businesses–billions of dollars.

Mexico is the number one export market for U.S. rice, and especially Louisiana rice.

According to a Rice Specialist with the LSU Ag Rice Research Station, any disruption in our Mexico market would have a tremendous negative impact here in Acadiana.

“So retaliatory from Mexico could be tariffs on U.S. goods, and that’s important because Mexico is our number one export market for U.S. rice and especially, Louisiana rice,” Dustin Harrell with the LSU Ag Rice Research Station, said.

President Trump plans to put a 5 percent tariff on all goods from Mexico starting Monday…unless Mexico changes its immigration policies.

“I think Mexico needs to step up, and if they don’t, tariffs will go on,” the president added. 

The trade penalties could rise to 25 percent by October if Mexico fails to act.

“They’re coming up by the millions,” President Trump said. “Mexico can stop it. They have to stop it. Otherwise, we just won’t be able to do business.”

“The U.S. exports about 3 million metric tons of rice. About 900,000 of or just under one third of that goes to Mexico, so you could see any disruption in our Mexico market would have a tremendous negative impact here in Acadiana,” Harrell explained.

Harrell says the U.S. could be losing its biggest current export market.

“It’s probably four times as big as any other market where we export rice. Total agricultural exports to Mexico, I think in 2018, it was like $1.4 billion, so that included corn, soybeans, and a big portion of that was rice,” Harrell added.

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