Missouri businesses may not fare well if a 20 percent tariff on Mexican imports is established to pay for the southern border wall promised by President Donald Trump.
Trump’s support for the import tax, which aims to protect domestic companies at Mexico’s expense, was announced by White House press secretary Sean Spicer last month. The administration walked back its position hours later after the idea created a furor, saying the 20 percent tax was just one option being mulled as a way to drum up the billions of dollars needed to build the wall.
Mexico is one of Missouri’s largest foreign trading partners, accounting for about 17 percent of all the imports to Missouri (valued at about $3.3 billion) and about 18 percent of exports from the state (about $2.5 billion) in 2015, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Economics experts around the state agree that Missouri would not fare well if Trump’s proposal were enacted.
Such a tax would be “very poor for Mexico, Missouri and the U.S.” and would lead to higher prices, said David Mitchell, a professor of economics at Missouri State University.
Jane Sung, a professor economics at Truman State University in Kirksville, said that the proposed Mexico tariff might seem to offer short-term protections for the U.S. economy but will hurt domestic businesses’ competitiveness in the long run.
Read more: Springfield News-Leader