NAFTA negotiations could affect avocado and beer prices

FILE - Corona beer (Nexstar Photo)
FILE - Corona beer (Nexstar Photo)

WASHINGTON (KFTA) — Negotiations surrounding the North American Free Trade Agreement are on uncertain footing after the first series of meetings in December, as changes to NAFTA could fundamentally alter the way the U.S., Canada and Mexico trade goods.

One state that has the potential of being greatly affected is Texas, Mexico’s nearest neighbor. Congressman Will Hurd said changes in NAFTA could cost the prices of imports to skyrocket, which would unfortunately include beer.

Hurd said 17 percent of the beer consumed in the U.S. comes through his district.

“Mexico is Texas’s number one trading partner,” Hurd said. “And you know if we get this wrong we can see an increase in the price of beer when we go out. I don’t think anybody wants that.”

But if the US, Canada and Mexico cannot come to an agreement, it’s possible that NAFTA could be repealed.

The most recent round of negotiations regarding NAFTA ended this month, but they did so with no solid plans for the future of NAFTA negotiations. The future is clouded additionally by the fact that Mexico is soon to host a new election, which could potentially void negotiations made under the previous administration.

Texas Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar said NAFTA eliminated tariffs, which made certain goods coming into the US less expensive. If NAFTA is repealed, prices could go up.

“We want to get it modernized but we can’t throw it away,” Cuellar said.

Cuellar painted the possibility of a NAFTA repeal in vivid terms, suggesting that some of the things Americans enjoy coming from Mexico could become much more expensive. And if the thought of beer alone doesn’t frighten you, then perhaps threats to avocados will.

“I mean name it: It’s avocado, it’s Corona beer, it is other things that we buy from Mexico that are just going to go up because then different tariffs are going to come in and who is going to pay for it?” Cuellar asked. “It’s not the companies, they are going to pass it on to the consumers, you and I.”

The next round of NAFTA negotiations take place in January, and will be hosted in Mexico.

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