Alliance to Keep U.S. Jobs

Impact on Industries


A significant number of products on Mexico’s tariff list are agriculture goods, many of which can be supplied by other countries, putting U.S. farmers out of business in Mexico as exporters from Asia, Latin America and elsewhere can now provide the same goods at more competitive prices.

For Example:

  • Grapes: In 2008, California alone exported 5.5 million boxes of table grapes with an estimated value of $60 million. As table grapes carry the highest retaliatory tariff (45 percent) the entire Mexican market is now in jeopardy for grape farmers.
  • Pears, Cherries and Apricots: All three of these products are now subject to a 20 percent tariff and are expected to bring an estimated $6.1 million in additional cost to Pacific Northwest growers if the tariffs remain through the end of the summer. Mexico is the pear industry’s top export market with annual sales of $50-$60 million, however the damage done by the tariffs are expected to result in a 30 percent decline in pear sales. Likewise, Mexico is a small yet rapidly growing market for cherries with sales volume increasing over 200 percent since 2005. However, the effects of the retaliatory tariffs are expected to result in a 50 percent decline in both cherry and apricot sales.
  • Strawberries: California alone exports more than $15 million in strawberries per year to Mexico. Now under a 20 percent tariff, U.S. strawberry farmers are no longer as competitive in the Mexican market and are in danger of loosing business to other exporters.
  • Processed Foods: Many states are seeing millions of dollars lost as a result of the 20 percent tariff placed on a number of processed foods, a significant export for some states. For example, in 2008 Pennsylvania exported more than $100 million in processed foods to Mexico. Now subject to a 20 percent tariff, many of these industries are loosing their market share in Mexico, putting tens of thousands of jobs in that industry at risk.


Duty-free treatment of goods provided under NAFTA has allowed exports of U.S. manufactured goods to Mexico to substantially increase in recent years. For example, in 2008 the U.S. exported more than $63 billion worth of manufactured goods, including paper, machinery, autos and transport equipment to Mexico. The U.S. manufacturing sector has been severely impacted by the retaliation, as two-thirds of the tariffs — nearly $1.6 billion worth- target U.S. manufactured goods destined for Mexico.

For Example:

  • Personal Care Products: Mexico is the U.S.’s third largest export market for personal care products and in 2008, U.S. exports of these products to Mexico were valued at over $300 million. The 15 percent tariff that has been placed on all personal care products, except for fragrances, is causing companies to lose millions of dollars. For one U.S. personal care company, the dollar value impact of the tariff on one line of stick deodorant product from mid-March, when the tariffs were imposed, through 2009 is estimated to be more than $8.3 million.
  • Carbonless Paper: A 10 percent tariff on carbonless paper is putting this sector out of business in Mexico – carbonless paper producers’ largest export market. The industry’s, mostly USW workers will not likely be able to find a replacement market for their product in the U.S. or abroad.

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