The chief executive officer of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce says the state could pay a big price if President Trump’s proposed tariffs on Mexico go into effect. Kevin Brinegar says Indiana imported $4.5 billion in goods from Mexico last year, meaning a 5 percent tax would result in a $225 million increase to the price of those goods. He says the chamber is especially concerned about these tariffs because, unlike China’s case, they have nothing to do with trade.
Brinegar says Indiana would be the 13th-heaviest-hit state if the tariffs go into effect. If they are fully-implemented at 25 percent, Brinegar says last year’s imports would have cost Hoosiers an additional $1.1 billion.
He says the Chamber is currently listening to concerns from its members, especially manufacturers and farmers, and taking those to Indiana’s Congressional delegation in hopes that they will act against the tariffs. In a release, Brinegar says Indiana businesses and consumers "will once again be the innocent victims" if the tariffs go through.
"Using economic threats against our neighbor and one of our country’s largest trading partners to compensate for unfulfilled promises by the administration and Congress on immigration is an irrational – and extremely damaging – concept," said Brinegar in the release. "Nearly one-sixth of the $4.5 billion of Mexican products imported into our state in 2018 came in the important auto parts sector. If implemented, a likely retaliation of tariffs on American products will further impact Hoosiers and damage our economy.”
Brinegar says he hopes Indiana’s congressional delegation will take action.