Through out time, Americans have developed and expanded their appetite, causing their kitchens to be filled with ethnically diverse products. We are lucky to be able to buy tropical items, spices, meats, and drinks from different parts of the world. To keep up with consumers needs, the U.S. imports a variety of food from border neighbors to small countries in Africa. Overall, the U.S. spends millions of dollars to satisfy their citizens, but to which country is the money going to? The chart below demonstrates the leading countries for each popular product and their share of imports to the United States in millions. Data gather from the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau.
International trade has been essential in the prospect of the world. We know that one country by itself can not survive on its own since resources are not found always in the same areas. Focusing on the countries' agricultural resources, these kind of imports have been beneficial to the United States and its consumers. It has helped to expand the quality and variety of food with out having a big impact on American producers. The U.S. of course, try to mainly obtain products not grown here but as well products that are complementary and competitive. However these kind of imports are concentrated in season when a product in not available in the U.S. giving the consumers the option of having certain items in a year-round supply.
In order for the the U.S. to be able to import so many products, trade negotiations need to happend. There are numerous policies that can restrict trade such as tariffs being charged to imports, regulatory practices and administrative procedures. With trade negotiations and agreements, it allows for a reduction of barriers and opens foreign markets to competition. The U.S. has free trade agreements with 20 countries that give opportunities and the chance of growth in agricultural sales throughout the world. Also the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, is part of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which gives room to more trade negotiations.
From the data I encounter, it makes sense that Canada and Mexico were the top two food import sources in the year of 2014. The elimination of most tariffs on products happened thanks to the NAFTA, the three-country trade agreement by the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States, it . For the U.S., economy has tripled, for Mexico, farm exports to the United States tripled as well. In Canada, there was a boost in agriculture and they became the leading importer of U.S. agricultural products, and one of NAFTA’s biggest economic effects for Canada has been to increase bilateral U.S.-Canada agricultural flows. Of course, not everything is as perfect as it seems. With Trump being the president-elect, this agreement can come to an end. One of the many things Trump wishes to do is to renegotiate or terminate NAFTA since he blames this agreement as the cause for the job loss in the U.S. One wonders, if Trump decides to keep the agreement what type of changes would he make? What would become of the exports of each country? How will this affect the lives of the U.S. citizens and the economy of other countries? It is hard to think of a country who does not work with other countries in beneficial of all the people. It is important to keep the international trade open and going, even try to include even more and more small countries to help them grow. Besides Canada and Mexico, there are plenty of countries the U.S. imports food from. Below you can see the countries and their exports to the U.S. from the year of 2014.
Total Products in Year: