As if the cost of living isn’t bad enough in this rotten economy, the Obama administration has decided to send the price of fresh tomatoes skyrocketing. According to the Wall Street Journal, the administration has decided to take the side of Florida growers (no doubt Obama donors) who don’t want any competition from south of the border. Don’t get me wrong, whenever possible, I buy USA grown tomatoes, one of my younger son’s favorites. But if imports from Mexico are all that’s available that’s what I’ll buy. Either way, it’s going to be a lot more expensive.
The deal updates a 16-year-old agreement and raises prices on Mexican tomato imports “substantially, in some cases more than double,” as Commerce Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sánchez put it, approvingly. The Cato Institute’s Daniel Ikenson estimates that winter tomato prices could rise from 41% to 168%, and summer prices 47% to 176%. Specialty tomatoes, such as grape, cherry or heirloom varieties, will see the biggest increases.
So why would Mexico agree to this, given that its tomato industry employs some 350,000 in some of the poorest parts of the country, while generating $1.8 billion in trade in 2011? Answer: Mr. Sánchez used U.S. trade law as a cudgel.
Read the whole thing. Michelle Obama is all for our kids eating fresh fruits and vegetables every day, but her husband’s bureaucrats are making those fresh veggies harder to obtain for middle class and poor Americans living in northern states where we can’t grow our own in the winter.
Ah well, spring is just around the corner. Maybe we can make up for it using our government outlawed 100 watt incandescent light bulbs and some seeds.
Wait, what was that I said about the Hunger Games?