Carper Statement on President Trump’s Threat to Impose New Tariffs on Mexican Imports

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement after the Trump Administration threatened to impose a 5 percent tariff on all imported goods from Mexico starting on June 10th. In his announcement made on Twitter, President Trump tied the threatened tariffs to the flow of undocumented immigrants across the Southern border.

“Yesterday, President Trump took to Twitter to threaten new tariffs on goods from Mexico, our country’s third largest trading partner. He tied these tariffs, which could increase from five percent to as high as 25 percent in the following months, to the unrelated issue of immigration and offered no specifics regarding steps that the Mexican government could take to satisfy his demands. Members of Congress were not briefed. Mexican officials admit that they do not know what the administration wants. Business groups have warned that these tariffs could do ‘colossal damage.’ Even officials within the Trump Administration admit that they are ‘flying blind’ when it comes to this newest threat of tariffs. This is not how trade policies decisions with a neighbor, ally and $611.5 billion trading partner should be made, especially when American consumers and businesses will, once again, be collateral damage.  

“In Delaware alone, trade with Mexico supports 15,000 jobs. In 2017, our state imported $183 million of goods from Mexico and exported $327 million of goods. Those are big numbers for a small state. A five percent tariff would, without a doubt, be a blow to First State producers that drive our economy and the families that buy these goods every day. The President continues to wage a senseless trade war that we know is already leaving consumers, business owners, retailers, manufacturers, and farmers hanging in the balance. We do not need to inflict more harm by continuing to use such a blunt instrument like tariffs in such a haphazard way. 

“Make no mistake, President Trump continues to revisit tariffs, whether on Chinese or Mexican imports, because he believes he can impose them unilaterally. When trade talks go south, or his shortsighted border policies fail to garner results, or the news of the day is not to his liking, President Trump resorts to imposing tariffs that do not require congressional approval. It’s unfortunate that, over the years, Congress has ceded so much authority to the executive branch when it comes to these trade policies that affect every American. However, there are steps that can be taken to ensure that the legislative branch has a say in the major decisions that impact the consumers, small businesses, farmers and families that we all represent. The first step Congress should take is to pass the bill I have authored with Senator Kaine that would ensure that Congress – now and for the years to come – is able to oversee policies that so directly affect our economy and our relationships around the world.

“This isn’t a partisan issue. Tariffs impact every corner of our country, red states and blue states alike. We need to put American consumers and our economy ahead of politics and make sure that Congress has the ability to do our job and protect the people we all represent – no matter who sits in the White House.”