Proposed 20 percent tax could have huge impact on AZ economy - Tucson News Now

Proposed 20 percent tax could have huge impact on AZ economy

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now/AP) -

Major developments in the growing rift between President Trump and Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto on Thursday, Jan. 26.

Just hours after Pena Nieto called off a visit to Washington, a White House spokesman said a 20 percent tax on imports from Mexico could pay for a border wall.

It's a sign of the tensions between Mexico and the U.S., one day after President Trump signed an executive order to start construction of the wall.

The budding tensions between the two presidents and the 20 percent tax would have huge consequences for Arizona.

The 20 percent tax idea is like a bombshell in the state, because Mexico is Arizona's largest trading partner. 

In 2015 alone, $30 billion in imports and exports passed through Arizona's ports.

Roughly 100,000 Arizona jobs are supported by trade with Mexico.

The latest figures show Mexican tourists spend $7.8 million in Arizona every day.

The Trump Administration's issues with Mexico are concerning to economists and business groups in Tucson.

"We [Arizona] export $9.6 billion worth of goods every year to Mexico. We import $7.2 [billion]. So a 20 percent tax on that--you can do the math. That's a lot of money going to the government instead of getting used in our economy here in southern Arizona and throughout Arizona," said Tucson Metro Chamber Vice President of Government Affairs Robert Medler. "Those numbers are for the entire state, but I think obviously it has a large impact here in southern Arizona."

George Hammond, director of the University of Arizona Eller College Economic and Business Research Center, agrees with this argument.

"That's [the tax] going to have some adverse impacts. It may not only reduce our imports, but it may and will likely reduce our exports," he said.

To see the University of Arizona Eller Arizona-Mexico Economic Indicators data, click HERE.

In Santa Cruz County, there are more than 100 produce warehouses, many of which distribute thousands of pallets of the United State's fruits and vegetables every day. 

"We're responsible for feeding a lot of the United States and Canada, especially during this time of year," said President of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas Lance Juyngmeyer.

He said about 17 percent of all fruits and vegetables that come through the U.S. from foreign countries come through Nogales.

Chris Ciruli is in charge of shipping operations for his family owned produce company Circuli Bros. in Nogales.

He said if Trump were to slap a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports, fruits and vegetables would cost consumers more money at the grocery store.

"It unfortunately affects the actual consumer," Ciruli said. "In the U.S., we have the lowest cost for fruits and vegetables anywhere in the world, and we want to continue that going for people."

Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

MOBILE USERS: Download our app, to get breaking news alerts, weather forecasts and exclusive content on your Apple and Android devices.

  • Local newsMore>>

  • "Actions Speak Louder" benefit concert held in downtown Tucson

    "Actions Speak Louder" benefit concert held in downtown Tucson

    Sunday, October 22 2017 12:42 AM EDT2017-10-22 04:42:11 GMT
    Source: KOLDSource: KOLD

    Local musicians took the stage in downtown Tucson on Saturday night for a benefit concert to help the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas and those affected by Hurricane Irma and Maria. It’s all for the "Actions Speak Louder" concert. Organizers said after seeing all of the recent tragedies, they felt compelled to do something to make a difference. 58 people lost their lives in the mass shooting at a country concert in Las Vegas.

    Local musicians took the stage in downtown Tucson on Saturday night for a benefit concert to help the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas and those affected by Hurricane Irma and Maria.

  • BEAR DOWN: Wildcats stop Cal 45-44 in two overtimes

    BEAR DOWN: Wildcats stop Cal 45-44 in two overtimes

    Sunday, October 22 2017 12:02 AM EDT2017-10-22 04:02:27 GMT

    The Wildcats win their third straight game beating the Golden Bears 45-44 in double overtime.

    The Wildcats win their third straight game beating the Golden Bears 45-44 in double overtime.

  • New details revealed in wild carjacking crime spree

    New details revealed in wild carjacking crime spree

    Saturday, October 21 2017 5:33 PM EDT2017-10-21 21:33:40 GMT
    (Source: Tucson News Now)(Source: Tucson News Now)

    Police reports reveal new information on a wild carjacking crime spree that took place across the south side of Tucson on October 4. The crime spree ended with the suspect shot during a dramatic hostage standoff with police. 

    Police reports reveal new information on a wild carjacking crime spree that took place across the south side of Tucson on October 4. The crime spree ended with the suspect shot during a dramatic hostage standoff with police. 

Powered by Frankly