In Trade War with Mexico, Texas Would Lose the Most


A version of this story ran in the April 2017 issue.

In late January, the White House floated the idea of a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports to fund the construction of Trump’s “big, fat, beautiful wall” along the border — a move that could provoke a trade war. The announcement came after Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto canceled a tête-à-tête with Trump, a popular move for the foundering leader. Such tensions should alarm Texans. In 2015, the state traded more than $176 billion worth of goods with Mexico (compared to only $71 billion for California). A steep tariff would raise prices for consumer goods, including cars, fruits and vegetables (yes, avocados included). And a trade war could tank employment too: In the Lone Star State, more than 380,000 jobs depend on trade with Mexico.

Joanna Wojtkowiak

This article appears in the April 2017 issue of the Texas Observer. Read more from the issue or become a member now to see our reporting before it’s published online.