Tequila and Our Ag Trade Deficit

Tequila and Our Ag Trade Deficit

Haylie Shipp
Haylie Shipp
With your Southeast Regional Ag News, I am Haylie Shipp. This is the Ag Information Network.

We’re taking the latest trade numbers from the USDA, throwing them in a blender, and producing an output that apparently looks a lot like a margarita….and a 30-billion-dollar ag trade deficit. USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Alexis Taylor puts it into context…

"Some of the largest growth of imports that we have seen is actually products like distilled spirits, things like tequila."

Tayler says a farm trade deficit is not immediately bad.

Going back to that tequila statistic, she says the U.S. consumes more tequila by volume than anywhere in the world, including Mexico. It also is a new addition. In 2021, the USDA adopted the World Trade Organization's definition of Agricultural Products including distilled spirits.

Additionally, half the value of U.S. agricultural imports are in horticultural products, Taylor says that would be year-round produce in the grocery store...

"They are products that are non-competitive, that we don't produce. So, think things like bananas, pineapple, and coconuts. Things that are maybe counterseasonal, like blueberries in January, which are good for our consumers, are also good for our industry to keep year-round demand of blueberries."

This conversation continues tomorrow, identifying economic trends as well a a push to not accept the status quo.

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