This Wednesday, June 5, 2019 photo shows one of many “blue agave" fields that line the roadsides in El Arenal, Jalisco state, Mexico. The “blue agave" plant is the prime material for the production of Tequila. The Tequila Regulating Council said the U.S. imported $1.4 billion of tequila last year. (AP Photo/Refugio Ruiz)

Mexico's tequila exporters warily eye US tariffs deadline

June 06, 2019 - 11:01 pm

EL ARENAL, Mexico (AP) — After decades of building a domestic market for Tequila Cascahuín, Salvador Rosales readied the family business for a plunge into the U.S. export market this year. He made sure he had a stable supply of high-quality blue agave, the succulent whose juice is distilled into tequila, so that once they planted their flag, they wouldn't disappoint.

Tequila Cascahuín envisioned exporting about 350 to 420 cases to the United States this year and building from there. But those plans could be derailed by President Donald Trump's threat of tariffs starting at 5% and rising higher until he is satisfied Mexico is doing enough to stop the flow of Central American immigrants through its territory.

Last week Trump shocked Mexico with a June 10 deadline to impose tariffs on all Mexican imports.

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