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Tropicals to be impacted most

TPP exit leads to uncertain times for US produce industry

In order to protect the US domestic industry, President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to withdraw the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). What does this mean for the fresh produce industry?

Tropical industry will be impacted
“It is one thing to remove the US from the TPP, but it is more important to see what the replacement will be,” says Anthony Serafino with Exp. Group, LLC in New Jersey. “From the produce side, if there is no replacement, it will hurt more than it benefits. Although the US’ stake in NAFTA is much bigger than in TPP, the exit will still have consequences.” Serafino believes the tropical industry will be impacted most. 

There are certain produce items that the US can’t grow. “Ginger, yucca, plantains are all sourced from other countries and for some of these items we heavily rely on TPP members such as Mexico,” said Serafino. Within the US, California will be impacted most as the Golden State trades more with the Pacific Rim than other states. “It is an unpredictable time and I hope Donald Trump and the President of Mexico will be able to develop a relationship when they meet. A bad relationship wouldn’t benefit anyone and two countries are always stronger than one.”

Malango Coco from Mexico. Photo credit: Exp. Group

Some produce can’t be grown in the US
“I don’t know if he realizes what the consequences will be,” says Mayra Romero with Fresco Produce. “Some fruits just need to be imported into the US as they can’t be grown domestically.” As a result of the TPP exit, these produce items will either not be available or they will be available at a very high price. The President has the right to protect the US growers, but he needs to review item by item.

All Fresco’s produce is grown in Mexico. “We are still working and planning our production, but we are not making any new investments,” continued Romero. “It is a very uncertain time.”

For more information:
Anthony Serafino
Exp. Group LLC
Tel: (+1) 201-662-2001


Mayra Romero
Fresco Produce LLC
Tel: (+1) 956-720-0917

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