Trump, tariffs and a potential trade war

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(24 HOURS ON THE BORDER) -

If Donald Trump follows through on his campaign promises, Arizona could find itself on the front line of a trade war.

Throughout the campaign, Trump put the Mexican government on notice. 

He has threatened to deport millions of immigrants, blow up trade agreements and hit Mexican products with tariffs to finance the border wall he wants to build. 

It's put business owners along the border on edge. 

"Probably about 80 to 85 percent of what we do is imported products, so we rely heavily on Mexico and imports from Mexico every day," said Chris Ciruli, who distributes fresh produce coming from our southern neighbor. 

During the peak winter months, more than 100 semi trucks move in and out or his Nogales warehouse. 

And that's just part of the near $30 billion in trade between Mexico and Arizona last year. 

That trade supports more than 100,000 jobs here in the Grand Canyon State.

[RELATED: Trade war with Mexico threatens jobs and consumers]

"In the Town of Nogales, we are probably about a $3.6 billion industry and it's the largest employer in Santa Cruz County,” Ciruli said. “It's a very important economic driver, not only for Santa Cruz County but for the state of Arizona.”

But if Trump hits the produce industry and other products with tariffs, Ciruli’s business and others stand to lose out. 

Trump's tariff talk last year prompted the head of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry to say then-candidate Trump would be a "menace" to Arizona economy. 

Still, Ciruli remains an optimist, hoping that Trump won't follow through on his promises.

"I think at the end, he's a businessman, that he has a lot of business contacts down there with him, and I think he will figure it out," Ciruli said. 

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Power of 2 Special Report

Morgan  LoewMorgan Loew is an investigative reporter at CBS 5 News. His career has taken him to every corner of the state, lots of corners in the United States, and some far-flung corners of the globe.

Click to learn more about Morgan .

Morgan Loew
CBS 5 Investigates

Morgan’s past assignments include covering the invasion of Iraq, human smuggling in Mexico, vigilantes on the border and Sheriff Arpaio in Maricopa County. His reports have appeared or been featured on CBS News, CNN, NBC News, MSNBC and NPR.

Morgan’s peers have recognized his work with 11 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards , two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for investigative reporting, an SPJ First Amendment Award and a commendation from the Humane Society of the United States. Last fall, Morgan was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle, in recognition of 25 years of contribution to the television industry in Arizona.

Morgan is a graduate of the University of Arizona journalism school and Concord Law School. He is the president of the Arizona First Amendment Coalition and teaches media law and TV news reporting at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

When he’s not out looking for the next big news story, Morgan enjoys hiking, camping, cheering for the Arizona Wildcats and spending time with his family at their southern Arizona ranch.

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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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