The USA has established itself as a low-cost producer of high-quality manufactured goods using skilled workers and technology. We compete based upon service and quality as well as making the supply chain more efficient when compared to importing components by ship from overseas competitors.
Tariffs are setting the stage to reverse this positive world perception and also jeopardize the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). We have great energy resources such as oil, gas and the plastics raw materials produced here. That has also enabled the USA to be a choice and cost-effective region to produce goods. Look at all of the Japanese, German and Korean auto assembly sites in North America.
Ultimately tariffs will have negative economic consequences to the consumer, causing prices for purchased items to rise. The manufacturing industry — which this administration has championed — is negatively impacted by tariffs and trade wars. The immigration issue is real and the Mexican government is not doing enough to stem the flow across our border. Tariffs are not the best option to facilitate change with our southern neighbor.
Overall, I think the Mexico tariffs will have a greater negative impact overall on the long-term economy. Creating barriers to trade jeopardizes our regional economic cooperation, especially in the automotive sector.
The negative impact on wages, GDP and exports will be felt on both sides of the border if the tariffs stick.
Charles A. Sholtis, CEO
Plastic Molding Technology Inc.
El Paso, Texas
Editor's note: This letter was submitted to Plastics News prior to a June 7 announcement that proposed tariffs on goods made in Mexico were on hold.