AZ business leaders warn of economic consequences of Trump's border wall tax

Posted: Updated:
President Donald Trump leaves the Oval Office to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. (Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci) President Donald Trump leaves the Oval Office to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. (Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

President Donald Trump on Thursday floated the idea of slapping a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports to pay for the border wall before quickly walking back the proposal. 

The plan was aimed at keeping a campaign promise of completing the wall along the United States' southern border and forcing Mexico to pay for it. 

However, Arizona business leaders are warning that the American consumer will be the one footing the bill for construction -- estimated at $8 billion to $20 billion. 

"When you take a look at what tariffs really are, they're taxes so I don't think the American taxpayer or the American consumer want to pay more for the goods and services that they're currently enjoying," said Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

Mexico is the state's top trading partner, sending $9 billion of goods and services south of the border. In addition, roughly 100,000 Arizona jobs are directly tied to trade with our southern neighbor. 

Hamer and other business leaders do not want to see anything disrupt that economic partnership. 

Todd Sanders, the president and CEO of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, is concerned Trump is ratcheting up tensions with Mexico that could end in a trade that would hit Arizona's economy. 

"You're going to see prices increase, there's no question," Sanders said. "Part of the reason we have such a cost of living the way we do in the United States is because we have free trade agreements with countries like Mexico." 

But shortly after proposing the import tax, the administration appeared to be downplaying the idea. 

Should the Trump administration move forward, they will need congressional approval. As two of the top business organizations in Arizona, Hamer and Sanders both said they would pressure the state's congressional delegation to reject the Trump plan.

[RELATED: White House spokesman backpedals about 20 percent import tax]

[RELATED: Trump proposes big import tax, triggering fight with Mexico]

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


  • Social Connect

  • Contact

    AZ Family

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.

Hide bio