Texas Farm Bureau, business owner voice concerns about proposed Mexican tariff

Posted at 1:20 PM, Feb 10, 2017
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:30:40-04

The Texas Farm Bureau and businesses with a high number of Mexican imports said they would have concerns if Mexican imports are taxed. 

The White House said at the end of last month, President Donald Trump was considering imposing a 20 percent tariff on Mexican imports to pay for the southern border wall, but that he was also considering other options. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer later clarified it was just an idea.

Texas Farm Bureau Director of Government Affairs Regan Beck said Texas has seen many benefits from the North American Free Trade, which eliminates almost all tariffs between Mexico, the U.S. and Canada.

Beck said the agreement allows for accessibility to products between the countries involved. 

"We would have concerns if there is that type of tariff. I think we have such a great trading partner. We would want very thoughtful consideration before we impose anything like that," Beck said.

He said the organization is glad to hear the administration clarified this was just one option from many being considered.

He adds that if tariffs are imposed, that will end up increasing prices for consumers.

"Tariffs are always paid for by the consumers at the end who pay that higher price," Beck said.

Griselda Ramirez who owns Taqueria Zacatecas in Waco said 50 percent of her products such as beef, soda, and chips come from Mexico. 

"It would primarily affect our prices, because we would have to increase prices since we would be paying more for the products coming from Mexico," Ramirez.

She said this could deter some of her regular customers from going to her business every day.

"If we increase our prices, I think people will stop coming more frequently," Ramirez said. 

Several owners of other businesses in Waco also said they thought the tariff would force them to raise prices. 

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