US and Mexico Trade Agreement
A trade agreement signed by the United States and Mexico sixteen years ago has recently sparked anger among farmers in Florida. The agreement has enabled Mexico to export tomatoes at a minimum price, making it difficult for domestic producers such as those in Florida to sell tomatoes. The movement to discard this agreement by Florida farmers has gained support in the Commerce Department and the final decision on this agreement will be made very soon. Although there are many sympathisers towards domestic farmers, it is necessary to understand the broader positive impact this agreement has had since its implementation. Producing and exporting tomatoes is a two-billion-dollar business and provides employment to over 5000 people in the United States in importing and distributing. In addition, American companies such as Ahern Agribusiness sell on average $20 million annually in tomatoes seeds to Mexican farmers. With such a demand for tomatoes all year round scraping this agreement between US and Mexico could have serious repercussions. Not only would 5000 Americans lose their jobs but relying on Florida crops to produce tomatoes is very unstable in comparison to those in Mexico. Harsh winters in addition to higher labour costs can have the price of tomatoes soaring because of a supply shortage. Thus before the Department of Commerce makes any final decision they must look at the advantages of this trade agreement.
Talks of a $7-billion transnational pipeline intended to transfer oil from Alberta’s sand tars to Texas have received increasing attention as President Obama must now decide whether to go forward with this project or not. Many have opposed the XL pipeline, arguing that it will have detrimental effects on the environment, as the use of fossil fuel will only increase. By contrast, those who support this project such as the Canadian government argue that this pipeline will provide a long lasting source of energy in addition to hundreds of employment opportunities for both countries. If this project goes ahead, the United States is expected to import 4 million barrels of oil per day by 2020 which is twice the amount it imports from the Middle East.