TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - June is off to a rough start for the U.S. and Mexico. After President Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum went into effect on June 1, Mexico fired back just four days later with $3 billion worth of tariffs of its own.
President Trump's reasoning for the tariffs, 25 percent on aluminum and 10 percent on steel from Mexico and Canada, is to better protect national security. His administration has said that imports have weakened the country's industrial realm, which in turn has weakened its ability to produce tanks, armored vehicles, and weapons. But international figures disagree, calling the tariffs a clear form of protectionism. Meanwhile, analysts in Tucson say, the tariffs imposed by the Trump administration are a bad idea.
"This not a good situation for the U.S.," Director of the Economic and Business research center at the U of A Dr. George Hammond said. "It's not something that would benefit consumers or producers."
As of June 5, the tariffs started flowing both ways between the U.S. and Mexico. Tariffs on imports of pork, cheese, bourbon, whisky and steel from the U.S. were put in place by Mexico. Tariffs by both Mexico and the U.S. are something that Hammond cites as having a negative ripple effect.
"When you make an industry less competitive in its export performance it tends to get beaten internationally in that international competition. That can mean layoffs and job losses here in the U.S," Hammond said.
The potential for the competitiveness of U.S. exports to be hit is there. Mexico is the No. 1 country for U.S. pork by volume, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation. With a 20 percent tariff on U.S. pork leg and shoulder imports to Mexico now in place, as Mexico retaliates against the U.S. for the steel and aluminum tariffs, analysts say the U.S. will definitely feel the effects.
"What it will do is not only make our industries less competitive, make domestically produced products more expensive here in the U.S.," Hammond said.
Hammond says Tucsonans can expect to feel their wallets being a little lighter in about six months as a result of the tariffs making domestic products far more expensive. He also says the agricultural and industrial sectors are expected to feel the impact the most.