Raleigh – Senator Thom Tillis continued his press tour advocating for President Trump’s tariffs on Mexico, sitting for an interview where he “defended” the tariffs after previously offering his “unequivocal support” and saying that “the President is right” while acknowledging the tariffs “could act as a tax on Americans.”
As Tillis shills for more damaging taxes on North Carolinians, the business community has had enough.
This afternoon, North Carolina Chamber of Commerce Chief Operating Officer and Acting President Gary J. Salamido blasted the Trump administration’s proposed tariffs on Mexico as the “wrong approach” for North Carolina. The letter spelled out the economic costs of Senator Tillis choosing President Trump over North Carolina:
One in every five North Carolina manufacturers exports goods to Canada and Mexico. Last year, North Carolina exported $31 billion in goods globally, $10 billion of which went to Canada and Mexico. In addition, nearly 32,000 of the state’s 473,000 manufacturing jobs depend on trade with both countries. North Carolina was also eighth in the nation for total imports from Mexico in 2018, equating to approximately $7.7 billion in goods.
The administration’s proposal starts this Monday with a 5% tariff on all Mexican imports. The U.S. Chamber analyzed the state-by-state impact of these tariffs, and the numbers for North Carolina are striking. The 5% tariff alone would impact $384 million of North Carolina’s total imports. Those costs would be passed along to businesses and consumers, threatening North Carolina’s economic competitiveness.
The letter was part of joint push from the U.S. Chamber and 140 other business and agriculture associations against the tariffs.
For Senator Tillis, forcing steep economic costs on North Carolina families is worth it to cozy up to the president and score political points over his Republican primary rival.
As the Charlotte Observer editorial board wrote over this week, Tillis “has abandoned the state he represents for the president he thinks he needs.”