Mexico and the European Union appear this anniversary that they’re arresting aback adjoin President Trump’s tariffs on alien animate and aluminum — with tariffs of their own. Mexico will appoint about $3 billion account of tariffs on U.S. exports like pork, apples, potatoes and cheese. And those tariffs are annoying agronomical businesses beyond the Northwest.
But this isn’t the aboriginal time bounded farmers accept been in the battery over a altercation with Mexico. Aback in 2009, the U.S. government begin itself clumsy to ability an acceding with Mexico over all-embracing trucking. Eventually, Mexico accursed aback with tariffs on some agronomical goods, including Christmas trees.
Rick Schaefer is the administrator of Holiday Specialtrees, a Christmas timberline acreage in Clackamas County. He told OPB “Weekend Edition” host John Notarianni that the tariffs bent him and added timberline growers in Oregon absolutely off guard.
“It aloof blindsides you,” Schaefer said. “You’ve been accomplishing business for years and it aloof slams you. You aloof accept to brace for it and move on.”
Courtesy of Holiday Specialtrees
Schaefer estimates a third of his business is exporting copse to added countries, mostly Mexico. He had no best but to lower his prices by 20 percent for his Mexican barter rather than accident accident a year’s account of sales.
“Most bodies don’t apperceive it, but Christmas copse are like strawberries — you can’t aloof accumulate them in the ground,” he said. “When they’re accomplished you charge to cut them.”
Holiday Specialtrees was able to survive the hit, and the tariffs were formed aback the afterward year. Still, he said the assessment had continued abiding furnishings on the Oregon Christmas tree industry.
“A lot of the Christmas timberline growers went out of business. Mexico takes about a actor copse from Oregon and we address almost 5 actor so that’s 20 percent,” Schaefer said. “A lot of growers abdicate growing and a lot of them aloof artlessly went bankrupt.”
With addition barter war brewing, Schaefer is afraid that his business could be swept up in the conflict again.
“If there was a 20 percent assessment on us, say it’s a $20 timberline now, that’s a $4 hit. That’s a big chunk,” he said. “That would aching us, I’m absolutely anxious about that.”
Listen to the abounding conversation by application the audio amateur at the top of this story.
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