Mexico Imposes Retaliatory Tariffs on $3 Billion Worth of U.S. Goods

Mexico Imposes Retaliatory Tariffs on $3 Billion Worth of U.S. Goods

Mexico retaliated against the Trump Administration last week by imposing tariffs on about $3 billion worth of American pork, steel, cheese, and other goods, according to the New York Times. This is in response to levies imposed by the Trump administration on steel and aluminum.

This tax war brings to light the increasingly strained relationship between the two countries as they work to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA.)

Farmers, who are among those most vulnerable to the Mexican tariffs, said the tariffs would devastate American agriculture.

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How Trump's Tax Plan Could Boost Restaurant Stocks

It's no secret that President Trump supports businesses. He has preached about keeping jobs in the U.S. and lowering corporate tax.

Specifically, he has said that he is aiming to drop the corporate tax rate from the current 35% rate to 15%-20%.

Last week, Trump reaffirmed this plan.

"We are going to be cutting taxes massively for both the middle class and for companies. We're trying to get it down anywhere from 15% to 20%," said Trump

So how will this impact restaurants?

"Restaurants don't receive any such tax benefits, and since only the biggest chains have significant operations overseas, many end up paying a tax rate of around 40% when state and local taxes are factored in," writes "The Motley Fool."

Chipotle, which has been struggling to bounce back on the stock market, paid $294.3 million to Uncle Sam out of its total income of $769.9 million in 2015. This is a whopping 38.2%. If Trump introduces a new plan where the tax rate is cut by 20%, Chipotle's net income could be 33% higher. That's $150 million a year. 

Panera Bread, Wendy's, Starbucks, McDonald's, Jack in the Box, Domino's Pizza and other major restaurant chains pay similar tax rates. Evidently, the income of these chains would spike too.

Although the industry could get a much needed boost, changing the current tax policy is easier said than done. 

"As most Americans know, little in Washington moves quickly, and tax policy is an especially divisive and complicated issue. Republicans have long been itching for corporate tax reform, claiming that the current rates discourage American investment and are the reason for the many "inversions" in recent years, in which an American company merges with smaller one abroad to move its headquarters abroad and benefit from a lower tax rate,"  writes "The Motley Fool."

Even though Trump's tax plan may work in favor of the restaurant industry, his recent call to impose a 20% import tax on goods from Mexico isn't a good thing for restaurant operators. Half of the fresh produce imports are from Mexico. Read more

Food Waste Bans: Are You Prepared?

Food Waste Bans: Are You Prepared?

By Laura Abshire, Foodable Industry Expert

Laws that regulate food waste disposal seem to be popping up with more frequency. From California to Connecticut and several places in between, a number of states and cities have implemented mandates on how restaurants can and can’t dispose leftover or wasted food.

So what’s behind this effort to combat food waste? There are a few motivators: 

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Ethnic Food in America: Defining Authenticity

Foodable WebTV Network

Foodable WebTV Network

Ethnic food concepts have certainly become more popular in America, with chefs from all walks of life putting their own spin on the so-called trendy dishes. From Momofuku’s David Chang to L.A.’s Roy Choi, Korean-American chefs specifically are starting to get a lot more recognition at the top of the influential chef ladder. But, when it comes to “authenticity” within each chef creation, the lines of rooted culture often become blurred. 

So, as food politics go, many sides were brought in to try to decipher how to even define authenticity. A recent article in Salon, entitled “The Kimchi Revolution: How Korean-American Chefs are Changing Food Culture,” provides a complex look and analysis of this movement, stating, “the postmodern chef now stands at the vexed boundary between poverty and privilege, a vigilant guardian with a knife in one hand and a smartphone in the other.” Read More