Main menu

Viewpoints: Experts Weigh in on Potential Tariffs on Mexican Goods


June 06, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump's May 2019 threat to impose escalating tariffs on Mexican imports has sparked reactions from both sides of the border, and from industry representatives to the world of diplomacy. Beyond the numbers showing the effects on consumers, these trade experts, ambassadors, and companies share views on how American jobs and the important relationship between Mexico and the United States could be harmed.

The investment necessary to build a manufacturing facility requires certainty.”

“Our members do well when we have regulatory certainty and economic certainty. The investment necessary to build a manufacturing facility requires certainty that you can have a market and a return on your investment and that the jobs you are creating will not just be there tomorrow, but will be here five and ten years from now. President Trump’s trade policy has put that certainty at real risk.”
Ann Wilson, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association at AS/COA on June 5


Mexico is one of the United States’ largest trade partners, and hundreds of billions of dollars in pieces, parts, energy products, fruits, and vegetables cross the border each year. These tariffs—combined with Mexico’s likely retaliatory ones—will only increase costs that will hit U.S. companies’ bottom lines and consumers’ wallets at a time when the U.S. economy appears to be slowing.”
Antonio Garza, former Mexican Ambassador to the U.S.


“We’ve been building a truly strategic forward-looking relationship between the United States and Mexico, from trade to security to intelligence sharing to what we’ve been doing in the Americas. The biggest threat is that this could unravel. And policymakers in Washington in a decade or so may be asking themselves who lost Mexico.
Arturo Sarukhan, former Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. at AS/COA on June 5.


“We encourage the administration to consider a broad range of policies to address the immigration situation, so that trade is enabled between the U.S. and Mexico. UPS believes that economic opportunity brought about by robust trade is a great inducement for people to build their lives and careers without the need to dislocate to other countries in search of opportunity. We believe both countries will benefit from modernized U.S. immigration policies and believe this work should be promptly addressed. To the extent tariffs are implemented and there is an impact on our customers, UPS stands ready to help determine the most effective means to cross borders and address trade complexities.”


This action will also have dire consequences for jobs in the sophisticated supply chain between the United States and Mexico.

“Mexico is not going to go away. And the U.S. is not going to go away. We are condemned to be neighbors and we are blessed to be neighbors. What we have been doing for the past 30 years is enhancing that side of the relationship. If we are going to endanger that by this kind of an approach, then it will go into the sphere of security, fighting of illegal drugs, and creating a more prosperous future, being more competitive in the global market in the years ahead. If we are diverted into fighting each other, we won’t be able to focus on that future.”
Earl Anthony Wayne, former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico at AS/COA on June 5.


“The Borderplex region is the fourth-largest manufacturing hub in North America and the president's actions will have a devastating impact on our local economy. This action will also have dire consequences for jobs in the sophisticated supply chain between the United States and Mexico. Jobs in states like Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania will especially be at risk.”
Jon Barela, CEO, The Borderplex Alliance


“These tariffs will not only harm relations with what is now the United States' top trade partner but jeopardize millions of jobs, hurt American consumers, and threaten the U.S. economy."
Susan Segal, President and CEO, AS/COA 


"We are now in a global competition with China. In my view, anything the United States would do to drive one of our closest trading partners into a relationship with China would be a strategic defeat.”
Eric Farnsworth, Vice President, Council of the Americas at AS/COA on June 5.