U.S.--Mexico Trade:

Extent to Which Mexican Horticultural Exports Complement U.S. Production

NSIAD-91-94BR: Published: Mar 20, 1991. Publicly Released: Apr 25, 1991.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed U.S.-Mexican agricultural trade, focusing on how major Mexican horticultural commodities complement, supplement, or compete with U.S. domestic production.

GAO found that: (1) there was a clear pattern of complementary production for some major Mexican exports, and significant overlap in harvest and marketing seasons for others; (2) cantaloupes, watermelons, table grapes, and asparagus had complementary production seasons; (3) both countries produced squash and mango crops at the same time, but the crops competed only to a limited extent; (4) Mexican-produced tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and strawberries competed directly with U.S. products; (5) the existing seasonal tariff structure was instrumental in preserving the complementary nature of horticultural trade between Mexico and the United States; (6) eliminating tariffs could undermine existing horticultural trade patterns, since Mexico had such advantages as lower-priced land and labor; (7) despite rising Mexican exports and sizable seasonal overlap, U.S. production of most of the horticultural commodities increased between 1980 and 1990 due to increased demand; (8) innovative agricultural technology helped keep the United States competitive despite relatively higher labor costs; and (9) U.S. consumers benefitted from increased fruit and vegetable imports in terms of greater supplies, greater variety and, in some markets, lower prices.

Mar 16, 2018

Mar 8, 2018

Mar 6, 2018

Feb 27, 2018

Feb 14, 2018

Feb 6, 2018

Jan 29, 2018

Dec 14, 2017

Nov 21, 2017

Nov 13, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here