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.
Gus Bova is a reporter-researcher at the Observer. He focuses on immigration, the U.S.-Mexico border and grassroots movements. Before the Observer, he worked at a shelter for asylum-seekers and refugees. You can contact him at [email protected]