PHARR, TX — This week President Trump announced a 5 percent tariff on all products from Mexico in response to the ongoing migrant crisis at the border. It’s an issue that could have a large impact on local trade, the economy and the price of goods.
Today we visit one on one with the director of the Pharr International Bridge, one of the busiest land ports in the country that transports billions of dollars in goods. Director Luis Bazan says a tariff with Mexico will have a detrimental impact with the region.
The president’s proposal comes during ongoing efforts to update trade agreements like NAFTA and the adoption of the USMCA. Some like Bazan believe the new tariff could be a big hurdle to the country’s largest trading partners.
“When President Trump decided to impose these tariffs, he basically said, ‘I don’t care what trade agreements we have in place.’ Says UTRGV Associate Professor and economist Dr. Salvador Contreras. “This supersedes those agreements it doesn’t matter if we have NAFTA still in effect or the USMCA, it would matter.”
“These types of tariffs on products, there really is no end in sight. I think there is no trade deal in the near future for anybody.”
As for the impact of the June 10th Deadline, Bazan believes it will take some time to notice the impact of the proposed tariff.
“You probably won’t feel it until you start looking at your bank account and begin to notice you’re spending a little bit more money at the grocery story, or when you go to best buy, you buy your television or whatever, or you go to the dealership to get a new vehicle to get an upgrade. I don’t think it’s going to be something that’s going to hit us like we hit a wall but it’s something that is going to have a domino effect and eventually we’ll start noticing,” says Bazan.