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Mexican trade changes murky, but Nogales industry launches long-term project

RIO RICO, AZ — In a preliminary January interview regarding the impact of Donald Trump on trade relations with Mexico, Lance Jungmeyer noted, “We still don’t know what direction he’ll take.” Jungmeyer is the president of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas.

Regarding recent reports about entering a 90-day consultation on NAFTA, he said, “We don’t know what direction this will go, and how consumers may react.”Lance-FPAALance Jungmeyer

In a related matter, Jungmeyer said the U.S. government has approved a due-diligence phase on a new refrigeration facility within U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities at Nogales’ Mariposa port.

Nogales’ produce industry, led by the Nogales U.S. Customs Brokers Association, is paying for the construction of refrigerated warehousing within Mariposa. This will solve a problem of fresh Mexican produce being exposed to ambient temperatures when a load is inspected. Users will pay a fee for the refrigeration service to cover the costs, Jungmeyer said.

The study approval “means we can start to price out the construction cost and conduct a true cost-benefit analysis. We are bullish on importing avocados and berries, which respectively have a $2 billion and $1 billion Mexican export value to the U.S. Very small amounts of these items come through Nogales, so we see that as an opportunity to increase the product mix in Nogales.”