Georgia could soon feel sticker shock for goods made in Mexico

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From cars to avocados, get ready for sticker shock when it comes to goods made or shipped from Mexico. That’s because President Trump has announced he’ll impose new tariffs on our neighbors to the south unless Mexico does more to stem the flow of illegal immigrants from Central America across the border.

Emory University economics professor Raymond said people probably don’t realize how deep the Mexican - U.S. economic connection goes.

“The thing is we are so intertwined that this is going to affect lots of things we consume,” said Professor Hill.

Hill said one effect would be the price of new vehicles with many parts made in Mexico. He said escalating tariffs against Mexico, beginning at 5 percent on June 10 going to 25 percent by October would hurt new car buyers.

“When tariffs are imposed they add to the cost of imported goods and consumers end up paying for that,” said Professor Hill.

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He said it’s a surcharge which would also raise prices on other Mexican goods like avocados, citrus, fruits, and vegetables. Professor Hill added it goes both ways if Mexico imposes tariffs on U.S. goods including produce from Georgia like Pecans.

“A lot of our agricultural goods are going to Mexico and it would be a bad thing if we had some sort of retaliation from Mexico,” said Professor Hill.

Charles Sale, an account manager with Grainger, said he’s been speaking to customers about tariffs.

“That’s smart business to let them know up front why the prices may change,” said Sale.

His company sells industrial supplies, items like brakes, hardware, lighting and more, much of it made in Mexico.

“Anything in the metal segment for example. And inside those departments they’re concerned about that because they are paying more for goods now,” said Sale.

Whether those concerns rise or fall could depend on tariffs against Mexico, a presidential pressure point to help fix illegal immigration.

Professor Hill hopes cooler heads prevail at high-level talks between Mexico and the U.S. in Washington scheduled for next week.

“We need people who recognize it and engage with Mexico. Instead of using an instrument not designed to solve social and political problems,” said Professor Hill.

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