BROOKLYN — Christmas tree companies claim Donald Trump is playing the role of the Grinch this Christmas. As the U.S., Canada and Mexico continue to hammer out the details of a new trade agreement, extra scrutiny at the Canadian border is causing a hold up on some people getting their Christmas trees.
Dan Sevigny has a lot of sweeping to do. On Friday, Christmas trees are overflowing from his storage lot in Brooklyn. But that wasn't the case just a few days ago.
"So we get a call from our customs broker and they say that homeland security is holding our trees and we don't know when they're going to come out," he said.
Sevigny said 1,000 of the finest Fraser Firs just stuck at the border.
"Somewhere in the area of $100,000 retail."
Sevigny's company has imported the trees for the last six years and never had a problem. But this year the U.S., Canada and Mexico are ironing out a new trade agreement.
"I imagine the trade war had something to do with it. Seems like it's escalating and starting to hit people where it hurts."
Most of the trees were already accounted for by his customers, so, Sevigny's company, Christmas Tree Brooklyn, couldn't afford to wait any longer.
"They wanted to take family pictures and if we didn't get them this tree, the holidays were going to be ruined."
He hopped in a U-Haul and drove to Pennsylvania to pick up a few hundred trees to cover his customers. By the time he got back his trees had cleared customs leaving him with quite the surplus. But his company isn't the only Christmas tree company that's been impacted at the border.
"We're actually going to sell some of our extras to another vendor because they couldn't get theirs."
With the left over trees he's trying to make the best of the situation by offering customers a discount and helping out those in need at the same time. For every tree sold,Christmas Tree Brooklyn will make a donation to Covenant House which provides services for homeless youth.
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