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How the latest tariffs on Mexican goods could hurt Hoosiers

Posted at 2:32 PM, Jun 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-03 14:32:18-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The new tariffs on goods imported from Mexico into the United States will hurt cost Hoosiers money, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce said Monday.

Beginning June 10, all goods shipped from Mexico to the United States will face an extra 5% tax. The tax will increase by 5% on July 1, then again on Aug. 1, Sept. 1 and Oct. 1, until it gets to 25%.

President Donald Trump announced the new tariffs on goods from Mexico last week. The tariffs are to coerce Mexico to crack down on migration into the United States. U.S. officials said May was on pace to be the highest month in border crossings in 12 years.

The United States imported more than $345 billion worth of goods from Mexico in 2018, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Vehicles are the top category of good imported from Mexico – more than $93 billion worth of goods.

Kevin Brinegar, the president and CEO of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, criticized the tariffs and warned the impact they could have on Indiana’s economy.

“Using economic threats against our neighbor and one of our country’s largest trading partners to compensate for unfulfilled promises by the administration and Congress on immigration is an irrational – and extremely damaging – concept,” he said in a statement Monday.

Indiana was the 13th-largest state importer of Mexican goods in 2018. The state imported more than $4.5 billion worth of goods. Brinegar said Hoosiers who will buy vehicles will feel the impact of the tariffs, as prices on Mexican imports could rise.

“Indiana businesses and consumers will once again be the innocent victims through paying what amounts to tax increases,” he said. “Nearly one-sixth of the $4.5 billion of Mexican products imported into our state in 2018 came in the important auto parts sector.”

Brinegar also warned of the economic impact of Mexico implementing its own tariffs on American goods.

“If implemented, a likely retaliation of tariffs on American products will further impact Hoosiers and damage our economy,” he said.