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How tariffs on Mexican goods affect your groceries

Posted at 11:07 PM, Jun 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-06 09:34:37-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — You may want to start budgeting more for your groceries.

Tariffs on all Mexican goods are set to start on Monday. President Trump announced a five percent tariff on Mexican products, stating they would impose them until they resolved U.S./immigration issue. The tariffs would increase by five percent until they reach 25 percent.

Most of the products coming to the U.S. are from Mexico. From cars, shoes, and beauty products to basic groceries like fruits and vegetables.

These could all see a price increase in the upcoming months, depending on how distributors decide to absorb the tariffs.

“If that distributor does not absorb that additional 25 cents and passes it onto the consumer, whether through the retail or whatever, the consumer is now going to pay 25% more,” said Tom Smythe, a professor of finance at Florida Gulf Coast University.

That could take months for distributors to decide because tariffs could take a while to kick in. In general, if the tariffs to take effect, people should expect a higher price on imported products.

“It will be incredibly difficult for distributors to just sort of overnight change where they get products from,” Smythe said.

Grocery stores could also feel the blow, especially those who rely on imported produce.

“It would have a substantial impact on us. A lot of our fresh produce comes from Mexico,” said Emanuel Ramirez, the store manager at Bravo Supermarket in Cape Coral.

If some products don’t sell as well because of higher prices, Ramirez says they might need to make cuts.

“We’ll probably have to eliminate the product and find other products that will sell,” said Ramirez. “We feel it harder than anybody else. We already buy products at a higher price than they do so that it would give us an effect.”