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Video: Taking Taxing Actions — Implications for the United States and Mexico

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Speakers:

  • Arturo Sarukhan, former Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. 
  • Earl Anthony Wayne, former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico 
  • Ann Wilson, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association
  • Eric Farsnworth, Vice President, Council of the Americas (moderator)

Amid tensions over U.S. President Donald Trump's threat to impose escalating tariffs on Mexican imports, Council of the Americas brought together experts on trade and diplomacy for a timely panel to discuss the repurcussions of such actions and how Mexico should respond. Ann Wilson said that, per MEMA's calculations, $457 million worth of auto parts cross the U.S.-Mexico border every single day, meaning a huge cost for U.S. consumers seeking to purchase vehicles. But the costs don't stop there: even for consumers who don't own cars, costs will go up as truck and transport prices rise. Ambassador Earl Anthony Wayne pointed out that tying tariffs to migration flows and expecting immediate results is not reasonable, given overburdened immigration agencies in both countries, saying that it is "not a problem you can turn on and off in a week." Meanwhile, Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan predicted that the Trump administration will seek to proceed with the 5 percent tariffs slated to go into effect on June 10, noting that the president is looking for a trophy, not an agreement.