Proposed border wall could cost Arkansans economically - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Proposed border wall could cost Arkansans economically

(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)
(KAIT/TALK BUSINESS & POLITICS) -

The significant impact could be felt across the state of Arkansas if citizens across the country wind up paying for President Trump's border wall.

According to an article from Talk Business & Politics, a 20% tax increase on imported goods from Mexico to pay for the wall would be disastrous for both countries.

According to the United States Trade Representative's office, Mexico is the country's third-largest trading partner, importing billions of dollars in vehicles, machinery, mineral fuels, and optical and medical equipment.

Trump's border tax proposal has also brought opposition from those in Arkansas, notably U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark. speaking out in favor of the border wall, but opposing President Trump's plan to tax Mexican imports as funds for the construction.

As for the state of Arkansas, consumers would pay more for wares and goods, with farmers losing commodity markets if trade slows.

According to Talk Business, Arkansas farmers harvested around 735,000 acres of corn, just a portion of the 86.6 million acres of corn harvested nationwide last year.

National Corn Growers Association Communications manager Mark Lambert said he's cautiously optimistic there won't be any trade disruptions.

“Trade is very important to us, 95% of all customers live outside our country’s borders,” Lambert said. “Agriculture is something we do very well in the United States. We need to do as much business as we can with Mexico. They’ve been great customers.”

Another prominent crop grown in Arkansas was soybeans, with farmers harvesting 3.12 million acres out of the 83.7 million acres of soybeans being harvested nationwide, with U.S. farmers exporting $1.4 billion in soybeans to Mexico in 2015.

When President Trump scrapped the Trans-Pacific Partnership, American Soybean Association board member Brad Doyle said members were stunned.

"“We’re still stunned by TPP’s demise,” Doyle said. “We want policies and trade agreements that help our soybean farmers.” 

“Any loss is going to be negative,” Doyle added.

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