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How President Trump's tariffs aimed at Mexico will affect Arizona

Posted at 5:48 PM, May 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 22:40:16-04

Some of Arizona's top leaders have expressed their concern over President Trump's plan to impose a 5 percent tariff on Mexican imports starting June 10th. Governor Doug Ducey said he's been in touch with the White House to express his concern.

Under the plan, the White House will increase the tax by 5 percent every month until October. That's when the tax will hit a 25 percent cap. Arizonans are expected to feel the impact of the tariffs on several fronts, one being produce.

You'll pay more for fruits and vegetables. Avocados, along with green and red grapes, are expected to be hit first since the bulk of those fruits are coming from Mexico.

ABC15 talked with Willie Itule, who heads up one of the largest produce companies in the Valley. Itule says there is some good news at this point - by the time the tariffs kick in, the United States will be getting the bulk of its produce from within the country, mainly California. Itule says most produce items won't be impacted until later this year when the supply switches over to Mexico.

"You can put aside some of the other stuff coming in from Mexico," said Itule. "Electronics, automobile parts, whatever it may be - but this is the essence of what we do daily, eat."

Itule points to an example of how the tariffs will impact produce. A box of avocados is going for about $55 wholesale right now. Itule says with the tariffs and demand; the box could jump to $80 if not $100. That sharp increase would then be passed along to consumers at grocery stores and restaurants.