Trump’s ‘Trade War’ just hit New Mexicans where it hurts — our chile. 5,000 New Mexico families rely on the chile industry and Canada has responded by putting a 10% retaliatory tariff on many American goods, including New Mexico chiles, salsas, and beer. Trump’s tariffs also directly increase the costs of lumber and sheet metal, while China’s tariff response has already hit New Mexico’s pecan farms. Trump’s big talk on trade has gotten us nothing but retaliatory tariffs from China and our allies, like Canada and the E.U..
“New Mexicans cherish green and red chile, but they’re not just our claim to fame. Trump’s Chile Tax will cost good paying jobs and endanger one of New Mexico’s precious traditions,” said Marg Elliston, Chair of Democratic Party of New Mexico. “Trump and Republicans have broken their promise to New Mexicans and, unfortunately, working families will bear the burden.”
New Mexico Democrats are advocating for a strong, smart position on cross border trade, in contrast to the Trump’s levy tariffs first, think later strategy:
Albuquerque Journal, 3/9/18: “Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., said the tariffs might not have a major direct impact in New Mexico but they were not well-conceived.
‘Although these tariffs may have limited direct impact in New Mexico, the process — the uncertainty and rhetoric leading up to today — is a clear example of the dysfunction in the White House,’ Udall said.
‘While the tariffs President Trump plans do not appear to apply to Mexico and Canada for now, the threat is real. Border trade empowers New Mexico’s economy, and any change of our relationship with Mexico — because of tariffs or the renegotiation of NAFTA — must protect the thousands of working New Mexicans whose livelihoods depend on stable trade relations with Mexico.’
Sen. Martin Heinrich, ranking Democrat on the Joint Economic Committee, agreed.
‘Tariffs can be an appropriate punitive tool when people are cheating the system, however, I’m not sure the administration has thought this through,’ he said. ‘They seem to be taking a sledge hammer to a problem that needs a more surgical approach.’
Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat running for governor of New Mexico, called the tariff hike ‘short-sighted’ and could result in economic pain for New Mexico farmers.
‘The President has an obligation to uphold fair trade policies, but threatening trade wars against our allies is dangerous, short-sighted, and will make it harder for U.S. businesses to compete abroad,’ she said. ‘Retaliatory actions would especially harm agricultural businesses in New Mexico and will only increase costs on consumers.’”