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Southern Arizona produce companies say they're relieved the tariff threat on Mexico ended

Tribal members oppose border wall, protesting McCain
Posted at 8:45 PM, Jun 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-10 10:20:28-04

NOGALES, Ariz. — President Donald Trump announced on Friday he will be dropping the Mexico tariff threat after reaching an immigration enforcement deal. This comes after the President threaten last week to put a five percent tariff increase on all Mexican goods entering the United States to put pressure on the Mexican government to decrease the flow of migrants coming to the U.S.

Produce companies in Southern Arizona, Fresh Produce Association of Americans and Chamberlain Distributing said the threat would have hurt their businesses.

"We spent a whole week wondering what our future is going to look like," said Lance Jungmeyer, the President of the Fresh Produce Associations of Americans. "The business is wondering, can I stay in business next year? Employees are wondering if they can maintain their mortgages. This is no way to live."

Jungmeyer and Jamie Chamberlain, the president of Chamberlain distributing said the threat made them worry about the future of their businesses.

"We're not planning for tomorrow or for the next day, tomorrow and the next day are done," Chamberlain said. "We're planning six months, a year, two years in advance. Our investments that we have our set in stone, and it is very, very difficult to go back on those type of investments that we have."

Chamberlain said the issue of immigration and the issue of trade are different, but in this case, they ended up being in the same conversation.

"We're disappointed that our lives are that cheap," Jungmeyer said. "In order to solve a problem that we had no business in causing, our businesses were thrown up in the air and just left to the wind, and that's just not acceptable."

Jungmeyer said his company plans to go to politicians to urge them not to solve immigration issues with an economic solution.

"With Mexico, i think we need strong neighbors on our southern and northern borders," Chamberlain said. "That's why we think it's so important to pass the USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement)."

Chamberlain said Mexico is the United States' number one trading partner, so he said the government needs to keep them as a strong ally to have a strong economy, and one step to do that is signing the USMCA.