Could we be witnessing the beginning of a farming crisis?
Ever since the election and inauguration of President Donald Trump, lots of mixed emotions and opinions have been exposed. From views on immigration and foreign policy to trade and the economy, every topic is one of contention and division. Each and every American is likely to have an opinion on what happens in Washington. This is because every action taken by our government affects the lives of citizens across our country, no matter how significant or minute.
Keeping Campaign Promises
One of the biggest and most divisive topics proposed by the new executive administration is that of immigration reform. President Trump talked constantly about building a massive wall on the southern border of the United States during his campaign. During the first month of his presidency, he rolled out executive orders to speed-up the process of “making America great again”.
Giving Our Neighbors the Cold Shoulder
Among these were orders to the United States Customs and Border Patrol, urging them to increase enforcement of border laws and to immediately begin implementing all current resources towards the construction of a physical barrier separating the two countries. President Trump is also hoping to impose a 20% tax on imports from Mexico in a bid to get the Mexican government to indirectly pay for the construction of the wall. On top of this, the new President has promised to renegotiate NAFTA to better work for the American economy and has accused Mexico of stealing American jobs as a result of the agreement first signed by the Clinton Administration.
Due to the drastic and aggressive rhetoric and actions taken by the United States, Mexico has decided to make its presence known. Mexican lawmakers and economists have proposed a retaliatory measure against the US. Since the signing of the executive order and talks about renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Mexican government has introduced legislation to purchase corn from countries like Brazil and Argentina, rather than the United States. Mexico is the largest buyer of American corn – a boycott of the crop could send prices plummeting and lead to negative affects in the farming community.
Another factor that threatens to affect agriculture are labor laws. With fewer undocumented or illegal immigrants working on American farms, the price of produce for American consumers could skyrocket as labor could become exponentially more expensive for farmers.
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