May 31, 2019 / 5:05 PM / 4 months ago

U.S. manufacturers, farmers fret over Trump's Mexico tariff plan

May 31 (Reuters) - Mexico’s president on Friday urged his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, to back down from threats to slap tariffs on Mexican goods entering the United States, in a dispute over migration that could create a major economic shock for Mexico.

Here is a sample of the reaction to Trump’s announcement.

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MANUFACTURERS

“These proposed tariffs would have devastating consequences on manufacturers in America and on American consumers,” Jay Timmons, association president, said in a statement. He said that manufacturers have been working hard to win passage of USMCA (U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement). “The last thing we want to do is put that landmark deal ... in jeopardy,” he said.

INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND

“As we have said before, trade is a major engine of growth and it would be best for all economies if trade tensions can be de-escalated as quickly as possible. In this case, we hope that the issues can be resolved soon and, in that respect, the recent agreement reached on the USMCA is a positive development.”

THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WHEAT GROWERS

“We call on the President to rescind this threat immediately. We’ve been hit by low prices; we’ve been hit by rain and flooding that is hurting what was an excellent wheat crop; and now we’ve been hit again by the actions of our own government. We need to end indiscriminate use of tariffs now, one way or another.”

U.S. WHEAT ASSOCIATES

“We respectfully ask the Administration not to implement these new tariffs. The potential fallout for farmers would be like struggling to survive a flood then getting hit by a tornado.”

IOWA GOVERNOR KIM REYNOLDS

“Iowans are frustrated with Washington’s inability to reform our country’s immigration system and address the crisis at the border, but I am asking the President to rethink this approach. Mexico is Iowa’s top trading partner, and placing new tariffs could undo the progress made by the negotiated USMCA trade agreement.”

MOTOR AND EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION

MEMA said the tariffs would disrupt $452 million worth of automotive cross-border trade every day. “In short, this action will undermine U.S. economic stability,” MEMA said in a statement. “This action also puts the USMCA ... at serious risk.”

DEMOCRATIC SENATOR TOM UDALL

“@POTUS and his unhinged policy agenda are quite simply a disaster for border states like New Mexico,” Udall tweeted. “Trump’s border tax could devastate our economy - punishing border communities for a humanitarian crisis that this administration has only made worse. Senseless, and likely illegal.”

TEXAS GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT

“The crisis at our southern border is at a breaking point. I share the President’s deep frustration with Congress’ inaction to step up and fix this problem. I’ve previously stated my opposition to tariffs due to the harm it would inflict on the Texas economy, and I remain opposed today. Nevertheless, the President is trying to address this emergency. Now, Congress must do its job and start passing laws to fix our broken immigration system.”

REPUBLICAN SENATOR RON JOHNSON, Chairman of Senate Homeland Security Committee

Said he hoped Trump’s move would pressure Mexico into enacting a “safe third country agreement” under which migrants from other Central American countries would have to seek asylum in Mexico and not the United States. “Hopefully this move by President Trump will bring them to their senses and they’ll cooperate with us by enacting something like that,” Johnson told Fox News Channel

DEMOCRATIC SENATOR DICK DURBIN

“America’s loudest president on immigration has failed at our borders. In his frustration, he promises a new round of tariffs raising prices on Americans, killing our jobs, and once again hitting Illinois farmers and businesses the hardest. How much more can our nation take from this ‘stable genius’?”

Compiled by Susan Thomas; Edited by Howard Goller

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