AUSTIN, Texas – State Rep. Rafael Anchia, chairman of the Texas House Committee on International Relations and Economic Development, and 55 of his Texas House colleagues oppose tariffs on Mexican imports.
In a letter sent to U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer, the bipartisan group of state lawmakers called on the Trump Administration to reconsider recently announced tariffs on all imports from Mexico.
Here is their letter in full:
June 6, 2019
The Honorable Robert E. Lighthizer
United States Trade Representative
600 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20508
Re: REQUEST TO RECONSIDER PROPOSED TARIFFS ON MEXICO
Dear Ambassador Lighthizer:
In my capacity as Chairman of the Texas House Committee on International Relations and Economic Development, I join the undersigned colleagues of the Texas House of Representatives to urge the Administration to reconsider the recently-announced tariffs on all goods imported from Mexico.
The imposition of a five percent tariff beginning on June 10, with the potential of reaching 25 percent by October, will be devastating to both the United States and Mexican economies, with particularly harmful implications for the State of Texas.
As the tenth largest economy in the world, situated in the center of the NAFTA trading bloc, Texas maintains mutually-advantageous relationships with our top trading partners. Texas serves as the biggest exporter of goods and services in the United States—totaling $264.5 billion in 2017. The volume of Texas exports was larger than that of the second-largest exporting state by more than $90 billion. Texas companies maintain well-developed cross-border supply chains, and a mutually-beneficial trade relationship with our state’s number-one trading partner, Mexico. In 2017, our state exported $97.3 billion, and imported $89 billion from Mexico, with an additional 382,000 Texas jobs that depend on trade with Mexico. As noted by Dallas Federal reserve President Robert Kaplan, “The trade relation with Mexico has been critical to Texas.” Kaplan added, “If we didn’t have that trade relationship with Mexico, it’s our best judgment at the Dallas Fed that we would lose some of those businesses and some of those jobs, most likely to Asia.”
A report released this week by The Perryman Group (TPG) estimates that a five percent tariff on all imports from Mexico, and related retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports, would lead to an increase in direct cost to the United States of $28.1 billion, with a net loss of $41.5 billion in GDP and $24.6 billion in income each year. TPG estimates the overall job loss due to this tariff to be over 400,000 jobs in the United States. Furthermore, they point out that “Texas would bear the lion’s share of this loss” if these tariffs are implemented. TPG estimates that the proposed tariffs would result in additional direct costs of $8.7 billion, likely costing the Texas economy $11.9 billion in GDP, and nearly $7.1 billion in income each year, as well as 117,335 in job loss throughout the state.
Texas trade relies on the strong relationships built with our North American partners, and Texas business relies on the predictability furnished by the rules-based trading framework of NAFTA. The ratification and implementation of USMCA will help modernize and reinforce that framework that was established decades ago. However, this newly-proposed tariff announcements undermine ratification at home and abroad and threatens the good work done by U.S. trade negotiators.
We are committed to work with the federal government to improve our nation’s broken immigration system, however, that issue should be discussed independent and apart from international trade. We also stand ready to engage in a constructive dialogue with Mexico on bilateral solutions to common challenges.
The above being the case, and recognizing the potential for significant harms to business and jobs throughout the State of Texas by the imposition of these tariffs, we respectfully request that the Administration refrain from imposing these tariffs so that Texas maintains its competitiveness in the global economy.
Chairman Rafael Anchia,
Eddie Lucio, III,
Armando ‘Mando’ Martinez,
Teresa ‘Terry’ Meza,
Sergio Muñoz, Jr.,
Evelina ‘Lina’ Ortega,
Mary Ann Perez,
Richard Peña Raymond,
Ramon Romero, Jr.,
Carl Sherman, Sr.,
Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news story shows state Rep. Rafael Anchia of Dallas.