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Healthy Eating During a Trade War: Here's How Trump's Reckless Foreign Policy Could Squeeze the Poor Even More

July 13, 2018 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson, AlterNet

Eating healthy could become even more cost-prohibitive for America’s poor and lower-middle classes in a trade war.

Eating a healthy diet on a budget is not impossible in the United States, but it’s certainly challenging—especially if one lives in a food desert where fresh produce is hard to come by. Sadly, fresh fruits and vegetables can be more costly than unhealthy processed foods, which is one of the reasons why America’s poor are more likely to become obese or suffer from diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases.

And if President Trump gets the U.S. into a series of trade wars—which is looking more and more like a strong possibility—eating healthy could become even more cost-prohibitive for America’s poor and lower-middle classes.

The aggressive hyper-nationalism that Trump has championed as president is alienating some of the U.S.’s closest friends and allies—even Canada, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently announced that new tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum marked a negative turning point in Canadian/U.S. relations. Canada has announced that billions of dollars of retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. will be forthcoming, and Lawrence Herman (a former Canadian diplomat who practices international trade law) has even gone so far as to say that Trump is getting the U.S. into “full scale economic warfare” with Canada. Further, the possibility of trade wars between the U.S. and Latin American countries could also create a great deal of economic pain for Americans—and when one considers how much food comes to the U.S. from Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Peru and other countries, that is a troubling thought.

In fact, 80 percent of Mexico’s imports go to the U.S.—and that includes a lot of food. If Trump gets the U.S. into a full-fledged trade war with Mexico, the price of all kinds of fruits and vegetables imported into the U.S. from Mexico could soar.

A partial list of foods that are grown in Mexico and frequently imported to the U.S. includes tomatoes, beans, avocados, lemons, limes, chili peppers, corn, mangos, barley, oranges, squash, and bananas.

Then there’s broccoli, a healthy, nutrient-dense food that Mexico grows …read more


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