WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The president doubled-down on his trade threat Tuesday, saying it is “likely” that he will impose new tariffs on Mexican imports starting next week.
- North Carolina ranked eighth among the states in terms of total imports from Mexico in 2018
- The state imported about $7.7 billion in goods that year
- The tariff proposal is facing pushback from some members of the North Carolina delegation
President Donald Trump is using the trade measure as a penalty, pushing Mexico to cut off the flow of migrants at the southern border.
“Every month those tariffs go from five percent to 10 percent to 15 percent, to 20, and then to 25 percent,” Trump said at a press conference Tuesday in London. "Mexico should step up and stop this onslaught this invasion into our country."
What impact could those tariffs have in the Tar Heel state?
North Carolina ranked eighth among the states in terms of total imports from Mexico in 2018, according to data from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The state imported about $7.7 billion in goods that year.
Using the $7.7 billion in imports as a baseline, the Chamber says a 5 percent tariff would amount to a $385 million impact. If the tariff were to eventually climb to 25 percent, as the president has threatened, then the price tag amounts to roughly $1.9 billion.
The tariff proposal is facing pushback from some members of the North Carolina delegation. Rep. David Price, D-4th District, slammed the threat earlier this week, tweeting, “Real diplomacy demands clear priorities & a means to achieve the goals, not throwing tantrums after a broken campaign promise.”
Some of the president’s allies in the delegation, meanwhile, are defending the president’s efforts to force Mexico’s hand. They criticize Congress for not dealing with immigration or the border situation.
“#BorderCrisis continues unaddressed. DC will do the bidding of lobbyists, but won't act to protect the American people?” Rep. Mark Walker, R-6th District, tweeted. “Then they get mad at @realDonaldTrump for taking action where they fail? Time to grow a spine & secure the border.”
Broadly speaking on Capitol Hill, many members of the president’s own party are not thrilled with the tariff threat. Some Republicans are even contemplating taking legislative action to block the tariffs.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, the president called talk of a GOP vote to block the tariffs “foolish.”