The Plastics Industry Association is joining trade groups in the U.S. and officials in Mexico speaking out against new proposed tariffs by President Donald Trump on all goods coming to the U.S. from Mexico.
The Trump Administration said it would begin imposing 5 percent tariffs on Mexican-made goods entering the U.S. starting June 10, and ramp up those tariffs to as high as 25 percent by Oct. 1 in an attempt to force Mexico to curtail migration from Central American countries to the southern U.S. border.
"The U.S. plastics industry strenuously urges the Trump Administration to abandon its proposed plan to impose across-the-board tariffs on Mexico, one of our industry's most important trading partners," the Washington-based trade group said in a brief statement May 31. "Not only would such tariffs cause immediate harm to the plastics supply chain, they would also jeopardize the ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which our industry is counting on as a basis for future growth and investment in North America."
Mexico's plastics industry association, Anipac, expressed similar concerns, saying it "deeply regretted the decision of the President of the United States to impose tariffs on Mexican products."
Anipac (Asociación Nacional de Industrias del Plástico A.C.) added that the move "could endanger the agreements reached by the United States, Mexico and Canada" over the USMCA, known as T-MEC in Mexico.
"This announcement will not favor trade between the two countries. For the plastics industry, [high tariffs] would cause unprecedented damage that would affect the sector's supply chain in both countries," it said in a statement. "We are convinced that to benefit both parties there must be dialogue. A detailed review of the consequences of [imposing tariffs] must be conducted.
"We know that if both countries want to enjoy a better future and [see] development, they must work together."
The Window and Door Manufacturers Association also cited the USMCA and rising costs to consumers in its statement.
"WDMA has serious concerns regarding the President's announcement," WDMA President and CEO Michael O'Brien said in a news release. "Not only could these tariffs adversely affect WDMA members that rely on trade with Mexico, but this announcement could threaten ratification of the USMCA, which would significantly impact American manufacturers. We urge the Trump Administration to reconsider this sudden action and work with Mexico on an immigration solution which doesn't affect residential and commercial construction markets."
One of Mexico's largest business associations, the Consejo Coordinador Empresarial (CCE), said the proposed tariffs, if applied, would "violate the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement and World Trade Organization rules."
"There's no justification for the possible application of said tariffs that would damage Mexican exporters but also U.S. consumers and manufacturers," CCE added. "Migratory matters should not contaminate and damage the strong trade relationship that exists between the two countries."
In his daily meeting with the news media in Mexico City May 31, Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he believed Trump would come to realize that problems like migration cannot be resolved by raising tariffs on Mexican imports.
"It's not in the interests of Mexico but neither is it in the interests of the United States," López Obrador said.
"Lack of work and violence is the reason people are leaving" Central America and trying to reach the United States, said López Obrador. "We need to work to help them. They are human beings. They are children who are alone. We are not going to commit any human rights abuses [against them]."
López Obrador dispatched Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard to Washington to explain Mexico's position, and he said his government would not react to Trump's measures by taking similar action. "We will not retaliate. We will avoid confrontation and a trade war.
"All Mexicans should realize that we will find a solution. The Mexican people don't deserve this. … The citizens of both countries [Mexico and the United States] are not in favor of a trade war."