The recent testy back-and-forth between President Donald Trump and Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto -- could end in real cash losses for agriculture in the Northwest.
Nearly $140 million of apples, $83 million of dairy and $26 million of frozen fries were shipped from Washington state to Mexico in 2015. For Oregon, farmers shipped $12 million in live trees and $15 million in wheat gluten and starch. Plus pears and prepared fruits and veggies.
Washington Apple Commission President Todd Fryhover said even talk of tariffs, or presidential-ego-bashing can result in canceled orders.
“It’s a new conversation. It’s not a conversation that we’ve heard before,” Fryhover said. “And it’s affecting our livelihood, or it could potentially affect our livelihood. Because this new rhetoric, this new conversation hasn’t happened before. So we’re trying to sit back and wait.”
The Trump talk also comes at a time when the USDA’s top leaders aren’t in place yet.