New tariffs could put Florida citrus market at risk

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On Thursday, President Trump made it official, signing a proclamation establishing a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports.

This means that other countries will be taxed to send their goods into the United States.

The president’s idea is to punish countries like China, which has flooded the global market with less expensive materials, and boost U.S. manufacturers—most of whom have welcomed the news.

The new policy goes into effect in 15 days, and economists say a trade war is coming.

“I think the largest effect will most likely be on retaliatory tariffs, particularity in Florida. Agriculture would be a large industry that would be affected, perhaps orange juice,” said Jesse Wright, an economist for FGCU.

Every year, Florida ships 12 million gallons of orange juice overseas. But now, the European Union says they’ll tax that in response to the tariffs.

The EU also says it will release a full list of retaliatory tariffs on American products soon.

“Once the ink is dried, you expect to see other countries say, ‘Ok here’s our response to that,'” Wright said. “It’s always important with policies to not just look at the initial effect but go ahead and look at the secondary effects and figure out if it’s really worth it.”

Canada and Mexico are exempt, for now, while a new NAFTA deal is negotiated. The President is also allowing other U.S. allies to petition similar exemptions.

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