Small Business Owners Bristle At Trump’s Mexican Goods Tariff Proposal

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — The Trump White House is floating a new idea about how to pay for the construction of a border wall with Mexico.

Under the plan, the price of everything from avocadoes to margaritas could go up.

Cosecha Cafe in Old Oakland is known for its happy hour margaritas.

Cosecha Cafe Owner Dominica Rice said, “Definitely rely heavily on limes, and limes coming from Mexico.”

During certain times of the year their avocados come from Mexico, too. It’s the same story at Xolo in Uptown Oakland.

Matthew Ridgeway, a co-owner of Xolo said, “Things like tomatoes, avocados, onions, limes, all those things are supplemented from Mexico when we can’t be producing them seasonally here in the U.S.”

Both restaurant owners were stunned to hear Trump’s plan to pay for the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“We’re working on a tax reform bill that will reduce our trade deficits, increase American exports, and will generate revenue from Mexico that will pay for the wall if we decide to go that route,” Donald Trump said.

The plan, his press secretary says, is to levy a 20 percent tax on all Mexican imports.

“By doing it that way we could generate $10 billion a year and easily pay for the wall just through that mechanism alone,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.

Trump’s Chief Of Staff Reince Preibus later called the tariff “one of a buffet of options.”

David Sloss of the Center for Global Law and Policy at Santa Clara University says an import tax would likely backfire.

“I don’t think Mexico ends up paying for the wall. I think U.S. manufacturers and consumers end up paying for the wall,” Sloss said.

Restaurant owners say they would either have to stop serving some ingredients, or worse, have their customers foot the bill.

“In all honesty, it’s just going to increase prices as far as food goes, and make dining out much less attainable for average people,” Ridgeway said.

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