Tamaulipas Gov. Warns Placing Mexican Tax on US Goods as Retaliation
MCALLEN - The governor of Tamaulipas called on U.S. and Mexico’s president to meet in the Rio Grande Valley to discuss border relations.
Tamaulipas Governor Francisco Garcia Cabeza De Vaca made the comment Friday during a business and economic forecast conference in McAllen. He talked about President Trump’s border wall and his proposed 20 percent tax on Mexican imports to pay for it.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the tax is just one idea the president is considering. Cabeza De Vaca said if the tax on imported goods is enacted, it won’t be good for either country.
“The thing that is going to happen if some reason the federal government decides to put some taxes to some products, Mexican products that are imported to the United States, Mexico is going to do exactly the same,” he said.
Cabeza De Vaca said putting a tax on Mexican imports will force Mexico to place a tax on imports from the U.S.
“So who is going to win? I’m going to tell you who is going to win, our competitors. Other countries like China and India,” he said. “Those are the ones that are going to win and the inflation is going to go up on both side of the border.”
Cabeza De Vaca said of all of Texas’ exported goods, 38 percent heads across the border into Mexico. He said the lone star state will have the greatest impact.
Texas A&M University professor of economics Dr. Dennis Jansen was one of the experts present at Friday’s conference. He said a tariff would raise a mountain of concerns about U.S. jobs and the prices of products.
“Most economists agree that free trade is a good thing… Any kind of hindrance of that trade is going to hurt both countries,” he said.
UTRGV Center for Border Economic Studies director Dr. Salvador Contreras also said the tax would likely affect the maquiladoras and those on the U.S. side that service the sector.
“If you believe that the area is going to be impacted by potential disruption in trade, we are,” he said.
Cabeza De Vaca said the U.S. and Mexico need to work together. He expects his message to reach both Washington and Mexico City.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto canceled his trip to meet President Trump next week at the White House. However, the two spoke by phone on Friday.
White House officials said they agreed to work out their differences on the border wall “as part of a comprehensive discussion” on their bilateral relationship.