Rep. Greg Stanton yesterday introduced a House Resolution that stresses the economic importance of the U.S. trade relationship with Mexico and opposes President Trump's threat to impose tariffs on goods from Mexico. Stanton's resolution, H.Res. 433, responds directly to President Trump's claims that imposing tariffs on imports from Mexico is a viable economic strategy.
Friday night, President Trump backed down from his threat to impose a 5 percent tariff on all goods entering the country from Mexico. However, the President has long touted his preference for tariffs as a trade strategy.
"It is irresponsible and self-defeating to make threats that destabilize our national economy and cause consumers and businesses to lose confidence in the global market," Stanton said of Trump's tariff threats. "This isn't the way to govern."
Stanton's resolution highlights how foundational trade is to the national economy, particularly trade with Mexico, which accounted for 14.5 percent of all U.S. trade in 2018. Mexico is Arizona's largest trading partner by a wide margin--two-way trade between Arizona and Mexico reached $16.6 billion last year.
"Even by threatening to impose these tariffs, the President put Arizona businesses at risk," Stanton said. "As Congress continues to engage the President on a trade agreement that benefits American businesses, we need to speak out against across-the-board tariffs on Mexican imports. It's the wrong approach."
The Department of Commerce estimated that if a 5 percent tariff on all imported goods from Mexico had been imposed on imports last year, as the President last week proposed, it would have created a potential tax increase on U.S. businesses and consumers of $17 billion. A 25 percent tariff would have raised that burden to $86 billion.