Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on President Trump’s continued backing of a plan to impose tariffs on Mexican imports despite opposition from congressional Republicans and businesses:
“If President Trump’s tariffs against Mexico take effect, Mexico is likely to retaliate. This would further increase consumer prices and hurt California’s workers and farmers. Our economy simply can’t afford trade wars with China and Mexico, two of our top three trading partners.
“California would be hit particularly hard by another trade war. Mexico is our top export market and accounts for 17 percent of our total exports. California manufacturers and farmers will lose business as foreign companies won’t have to pay the same high fees to trade with Mexico.
“Additionally, it’s California, not Mexico that will be on the hook for any tariffs paid on Mexican imports. If the president’s tariffs escalate to 25 percent by October as planned, it will add nearly $1 billion a month to the cost of goods imported into our state.
“Congressional Republicans understand the damage these tariffs will have on our economy, which is why so many of them came out against the president’s plan this week.
“President Trump needs to reevaluate his habit of threatening tariffs every time he has a dispute with another country. He’s abusing presidential emergency authority that doesn’t apply to this situation. He needs to adhere to the law.
“If the president moves forward with this plan, I call on my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to disapprove this dangerous action, even if that means overriding a veto.”
- Mexico is the United States’ third biggest trading partner, accounting for more than $1.6 billion in two-way trade each day.
- Mexico is California’s top export market, accounting for 17 percent of the state’s exports. In 2018, Mexico purchased nearly $31 billion in goods from California.
- Mexico is California’s fifth-largest market for agricultural goods. California farmers exported more than $1 billion in agricultural goods to Mexico, including $450 million in dairy products, $96 million in grapes and $80 million in tomatoes
- More than 565,000 jobs in California depend on trade with Mexico according to the California Office of Business and Economic Development.
- Customs and Border Protection would be responsible for collecting tariffs at ports of entry along the southern border, potentially creating longer delays at the border:
- More than 70,000 vehicles, including more than 16,500 trucks carrying food, goods and parts, and nearly 1 million people cross lawfully through our southern border’s ports of entry every day.
- Nearly 70 percent of the commerce along our border is done via trucks, including more than $42 billion per year through Otay Mesa in California, the nation’s second busiest truck port.