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What They Are Saying: Higher Tariffs on Mexico A “Prescription for a Self-Induced Economic Slowdown”

May 31, 2019 by AFP

ARLINGTON, Va. – Farmers, manufacturers, and other American producers are in an uproar over the administration’s proposal to impose tariffs of up to 25 percent on imported goods from Mexico – a proposal that, when fully implemented, could amount to a tax increase of nearly $900 billion over 10 years.

Here’s a look at what they are saying:

Americans For Prosperity President Tim Phillips And The LIBRE Initiative President Daniel Garza: “It’s Now Time For Congress To Step Up On Both Immigration And Trade.” (Press Release, “AFP And The LIBRE Initiative To Congress: Time To Step Up On Both Immigration And Trade,” Americans For Prosperity, 5/30/19)

 

Senator Commentary On New Mexico Tariffs

 

Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA): Said Tariffs Are The “Wrong Move,” And Noted, “A Blanket Tax Increase On Everything Americans Purchase From Mexico Is The Wrong Remedy… Tariffs Are A Dangerous And Risky Economic Tool.” (Rebecca Shabad, Geoff Bennett, Kristen Welker And Kayla Tausche,“GOP Lawmakers, Business Groups Slam Trump’s Mexico Tariff Threat,” NBC News, 5/31/19)

 

Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA): “The [U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement] Would Provide Much-Needed Certainty To Our Agriculture Community, At A Time When They Need It…  If The President Goes Through With This, I’m Afraid Progress To Get This Trade Agreement Across The Finish Line Will Be Stifled.” (Doug Palmer, “GOP Senators Warn Trump’s Mexico Tariffs Could Blow Up Trade Deal,” POLITICO, 5/31/19)

 

  • Senator Ernst: “[T]he Livelihoods Of Iowa Farmers And Producers Are At Stake… While I Support The Need For Comprehensive Border Security And A Permanent Fix To Illegal Immigration, This Isn’t The Right Path Forward. I’m Asking The President To Reconsider, And For Democrats To Work With Us To Find A Solution To The Humanitarian Crisis At Our Southern Border.” (Katherine Faulders, Mean Hughes & Anne Flaherty, “Trump Defends 5% Tariff Threat As Mexico’s President Calls It A ‘Provocation’ And GOP Senator Slams It As A Misuse Of Authority,” ABC News, 5/31/19)

 

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA): “This Is A Misuse Of Presidential Tariff Authority And Counter To Congressional Intent. Following Through On This Threat Would Seriously Jeopardize Passage Of USMCA, A Central Campaign Pledge Of President Trump’s And What Could Be A Big Victory For The Country.” (Doug Palmer, “GOP Senators Warn Trump’s Mexico Tariffs Could Blow Up Trade Deal,” POLITICO, 5/31/19)

 

Spokesperson For Senator John Cornyn (R-TX): “Senator Cornyn Supports The President’s Commitment To Securing Our Border, But He Opposes This Across-The-Board Tariff Which Will Disproportionately Hurt Texas.” (Doug Palmer, “GOP Senators Warn Trump’s Mexico Tariffs Could Blow Up Trade Deal,” POLITICO, 5/31/19)

 

Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ): Said She Does Not “Support These Types Of Tariffs, Which Will Harm Our Economy And Be Passed Onto Arizona Small Businesses And Families.” (Jacob Pramuk & John Schoen, “Here Are The States Where Trump’s Mexico Tariffs Would Hit The Hardest,” CNBC, 5/31/19)

 

Senator Gary Peters (D-MI): Said He Is “Concerned About The Impact Of The President’s Proposal On Michigan Workers And Our Auto Industry… [I]t’s Unclear How This Will Strengthen Security.” (Jacob Pramuk & John Schoen, “Here Are The States Where Trump’s Mexico Tariffs Would Hit The Hardest,” CNBC, 5/31/19)

 

Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) On Twitter: “I’m Concerned That The Admin’s Announcement Last Night Of Potential New Tariffs On #Mexico Over Matters Unrelated To Trade Will Hurt Our Economy & Jeopardize Passage Of #USMCA.” (Senator Rob Portman Twitter, 5/31/19)

 

Businesses & Trade Associations

 

Neil Bradley, Chief Policy Officer Of The U.S. Chamber Of Commerce, Said That The Administration’s New Tariffs Were “Exactly The Wrong Move,” And Noted, “These Tariffs Will Be Paid By American Families And Businesses…” “‘Imposing tariffs on goods from Mexico is exactly the wrong move,’ Neil Bradley, chief policy officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said. ‘These tariffs will be paid by American families and businesses without doing a thing to solve the very real problems at the border.’” (Doug Palmer, “GOP Senators Warn Trump’s Mexico Tariffs Could Blow Up Trade Deal,” POLITICO, 5/31/19)

 

Glenn Hamer, CEO Of The Arizona Chamber Of Commerce And Industry Called New Tariffs On Mexico A “Terrible Idea,” And A “Prescription For A Self-Induced Economic Slowdown” That Will Harm Consumers. “Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, described the tariffs as a ‘terrible idea’ and a ‘prescription for a self-induced economic slowdown’ that will harm American consumers. ‘Tariffs are taxes, and they’re taxes paid by hardworking American families,’ Hamer said in a prepared statement. He predicted the tariffs will be ‘terribly damaging.’” (Russ Wiles & Ronald Hansen, “Arizona Business Leaders Predict ‘Terribly Damaging’ Effects From Mexico Tariffs; Ducey Cites National Security,” Arizona Republic, 5/30/19)

 

President Lance Jungmeyer Of The Fresh Produce Association Of The Americas Said New Mexico Tariffs Are “Completely Unacceptable,” Would Hit Fresh Food, And For Consumers Mean “A Tax On Healthy Diets, Plain And Simple.” The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas said the Mexico tariffs would hit fresh food, imposing as much as $3 billion in tariffs on agricultural imports if the rate rises to 25 percent. ‘This is a tax on healthy diets, plain and simple,’ said President Lance Jungmeyer. ‘With the obesity epidemic, this is completely unacceptable and counterproductive in dealing with the migrant issue at hand.’” (Alex Gangitano & Niv Elis, “US Business Groups Slam Trump’s New Tariff Threat Against Mexico,” The Hill, 5/31/19)

 

David Herring, President Of The National Pork Producers Council Forecasted New Tariffs Would Bring Harm To American Pork Producers In The Form Of Retaliatory Tariffs And Estimated That Tariffs Have Cost Pork Producers $2.5 Billion Over The Past Year. “‘American pork producers cannot afford retaliatory tariffs from its largest export market,’ said David Herring, president of the National Pork Producers Council. The trade group estimated that tariffs over the last year from Mexico and China so far have cost U.S. pork producers $2.5 billion.” (Jacob Bunge & Jesse Newman, “U.S. Farmers See More Trouble In Fresh Mexico Tariff Threat,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/31/19)

 

  • Herring: “We Appeal To President Trump To Reconsider Plans To Open A New Trade Dispute With Mexico. American Pork Producers Cannot Afford Retaliatory Tariffs From Its Largest Export Market, Tariffs Which Mexico Will Surely Implement.” (“Pork Producers Ask Trump To Reconsider 5% Tariffs On Mexico,” National Hog Farmer, 5/31/19)

 

  • Herring: “Let’s Move Forward With Ratification Of The United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, Preserving Zero-Tariff Pork Trade In North America For The Long Term; Complete A Trade Agreement With Japan; And Resolve The Trade Dispute With China, Where U.S. Pork Has A Historic Opportunity To Dramatically Expand Exports Given The Countries Struggle With African Swine Fever.” (“Pork Producers Ask Trump To Reconsider 5% Tariffs On Mexico,” National Hog Farmer, 5/31/19)

 

John Newton, Chief Economist At The American Farm Bureau Federation, Called The Announcement Of New Tariffs “Two Steps Back.” “‘The news is positive, we’re moving forward on USMCA yesterday, and then we take two steps back,’ said John Newton, chief economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation. Mr. Newton said he anticipated lawmakers would pressure the Trump administration to ease back on the latest tariff threat.” (Jacob Bunge & Jesse Newman, “U.S. Farmers See More Trouble In Fresh Mexico Tariff Threat,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/31/19)

 

Rick Helfenbein, President And CEO Of The American Apparel & Footwear Association Called The New Tariffs “Disastrous For The American Economy,” “Another Tax For Americans,” And An “Aim At American Farmers.” “The apparel industry decried the Mexico tariffs, saying it represents ‘another tax for Americans.’ Mr. Trump has continuously misrepresented who pays tariffs, falsely stating that China pays the tariffs. In fact, U.S. importers — businesses like Walmart and Costco — pay the tariffs, with many retailers warning they will need to pass on the costs to consumers by raising prices. ‘President Trump is once again taking aim at America farmers, attacking their livelihoods while they are still reeling from losing export markets in China, Europe, and elsewhere thanks to previously imposed tariffs and counter tariffs,’ said Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, in a statement. ‘The bottom line is that these tariffs are disastrous for the American economy.’” (Aimee Picchi, “Automakers And Farmers Could Get Walloped By Trump’s Mexico Tariffs,” CBS News, 5/31/19)

 

Jay Timmons, CEO Of The National Association Of Manufacturers Called President Trump’s Plan To Impose New Tariffs On Mexico A “Molotov Cocktail Of Policy” And Noted, “America’s Manufacturing Workers Should Not Be Forced To Suffer.” Opposition to that approach came swiftly from U.S. industry. Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, said Friday: ‘Intertwining difficult trade, tariff and immigration issues creates a Molotov cocktail of policy, and America’s manufacturing workers should not be forced to suffer.’” (Jenny Leonard & Shawn Donnan, “Trump Tariff Vow Roils Markets, Autos As Mexico Urges Talks,” Bloomberg, 5/31/19)

 

  • National Association Of Manufacturers: “These Proposed Tariffs Would Have Devastating Consequences On Manufacturers In America And On American Consumers.” (Rick Newman, “This Week In Trumponomics: Tariff Man Goes Berserk,” Yahoo Finance, 5/31/19)

 

Eddie Aldrete, Senior VP Of IBC Bank And The Chairman Of The Texas-Mexico Trade Coalition Projected Negative Effects Stemming From The Administration’s New Tariffs Noting, Consequences “Could Be Swift And Severe.” “‘The economic consequences of Trump’s new plan could be swift and severe, especially in Texas,’ said Eddie Aldrete, a senior vice president of IBC Bank and the chairman of the Texas-Mexico Trade Coalition, a group affiliated with the Texas Association of Business.” (Tom Benning, “Trump’s Tariff Gambit Against Mexico Would Hammer Texas, Hiking Prices On Autos, Beer And More,” The Dallas Morning News, 5/31/19)

 

Global Automakers, Based In Plano, TX, Said That “Threatening To Increase Costs On American Manufacturers And Consumers Will Hurt American Jobs And Raise Prices.” (Tom Benning, “Trump’s Tariff Gambit Against Mexico Would Hammer Texas, Hiking Prices On Autos, Beer And More,” The Dallas Morning News, 5/31/19)

 

In A Statement To CNN, Volkswagen Said Of The New Tariffs On Mexico: “We Believe That Tariffs Of This Kind Are A Tax On The US Consumer And Will Result In Higher Prices And Also Threaten Job Growth.” (“US-Mexico Tariffs And Markets,” CNN Business, 5/31/19)

 

CEO Gary Shapiro Of The Consumer Technology Association Said That New Tariffs On Mexico Would Be “Potentially Devastating To American Small Businesses And All The People They Employ.” “‘Mexico is not only one of our top trading partners, it’s the number one export market for American consumer technology sector products,’ Gary Shapiro, CTA’s president and CEO, said in a statement… “‘If Mexico reciprocates with tariffs of its own, our country’s employers and workers will end up paying twice over for the administration’s misguided trade policies,” Shapiro added… ‘The administration made important progress yesterday by alerting Congress that the new NAFTA (USMCA) may come soon – but almost immediately backslid by slapping tariffs on Mexico, a valuable neighbor,’ Shapiro said. ‘This is potentially devastating to American small businesses and all the people they employ.” (Emily Birnbaum, “Top Tech Lobbying Group Calls Mexico Tariffs ‘Potentially Devastating,’” The Hill, 5/31/19)

 

David French, Senior VP At The National Retail Federation Said New Tariffs Could Be “Very Disruptive And Costly.” “‘This is opening up a trade war in a new direction that had not been on the radar screen for most people,’ said David French, senior vice president of government relations at the National Retail Federation, the nation’s largest retail trade group. ‘This could be very disruptive and costly.’” (Michelle Chapman & Anne D’Innocenzio, “Tariffs Aimed At Mexico, But US Companies In Line Of Fire,” Associated Press, 5/31/19)

 

  • French: “The Growing Tariff Bill Paid By U.S. Businesses And Consumers Is Adding Up And Will Raise The Cost Of Living For American Families… Forcing Americans To Pay More For Produce, Electronics, Auto Parts And Clothes Isn’t The Answer To The Nation’s Immigration Challenges, And This Certainly Won’t Help Move USMCA Forward.” (Alex Gangitano & Niv Elis, “US Business Groups Slam Trump’s New Tariff Threat Against Mexico,” The Hill, 5/31/19)

 

Hun Quach, Vice President At The Retail Industry Leaders Association, Said That American Consumers “Will Pay The Price For These Tariffs.” “‘Threatening tariffs on Mexican imports while simultaneously seeking support in Congress for a trade deal aimed at keeping trade barriers low with Mexico is a confusing and counterproductive strategy,” said Hun Quach, vice president of international trade at the Retail Industry Leaders Association. ‘Whether the rhetorical target is Mexico or China, the bill is adding up for American consumers who will pay the price for these tariffs.’” (Michelle Chapman & Anne D’Innocenzio, “Tariffs Aimed At Mexico, But US Companies In Line Of Fire,” Associated Press, 5/31/19)