Washington would not be the hardest hit among U.S. states should President Trump’s 5% tariff on all goods from Mexico become effective on June 10 as proposed, but it would still take a big bite out of the Washington economy, an analysis by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shows.
At the 5% level, the proposed tariff would impose a tax increase on Washington businesses and consumers totaling $76.6 million, according to the report. The proposed 5% tariff could increase fivefold ― if Mexico doesn’t do enough from the president’s point of view to stem the flow of undocumented immigrants across the U.S. border. Should the tariff on Mexican imports jump to 25%, the tax impact on Washington companies and consumers would skyrocket to $383 million, the report shows.
Washington’s total imports from Mexico in 2018 were valued at $1.53 billion, according to the U.S. Chamber’s analysis.
"These tariffs will be paid by American families and businesses without doing a thing to solve the very real problems at the border,” says Neil Bradley, executive vice president and chief policy officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Instead, Congress and the president need to work together to address the serious problems at the border."
Nationally, the effect of a 5% tariff on Mexican imports, based on the $346.5 billion in goods imported from Mexico last year, would result in a tax on American businesses and consumers of $17 billion, which rises to nearly $87 billion if the tariff reaches the president’s announced 25% cap.
The states that would be hit hardest by a tariff on Mexican imports are Texas, $5.35 billion at 5% and $26.75 billion at 25%; Michigan, $2.8 billion and $14 billion; and California, $2.2 billion and $11 billion. Washington’s tax impact from the proposed tariff ranks 29th among the 50 states.