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Businesses in Borderland worried about Trump's tariffs on Mexican products

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Businesses in Borderland worried about Trump’s tariffs on Mexican products

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The business sector in the Borderland is bracing for the effects of President Donald Trump's announced tariff on Mexico.

Trump imposed a 5 percent tariff on all Mexican goods beginning in June to pressure Mexico to stop the flow of migrants crossing into the U.S.

Stores in downtown El Paso were bustling Friday afternoon, as shoppers flocked in from the suburbs and across the El Paso Del Norte Bridge to spend some money.

It’s a testament to just how interconnected the economies of Mexico and the U.S. are in the Borderland, and it’s also why experts say this area would be hit hard by tariffs.

"If these tariffs get implemented, it will have a negative economic impact on El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. And that's because supply chains are so interlinked in North American manufacturing that they cross international borders,” said Tom Fullerton, a professor of economics at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Fullerton says some goods could be taxed multiple times, since they cross the border more than once during production and would face a tariff each time.

For example, if a product came over eight times the price would increase by 40 percent.

Vendors and customers in El Paso are worried the tariffs will affect their bottom line.

"It's already a tough business as it is, because people aren't willing to spend the money on especially quinceanera dresses. Because not only are they scared about deportation and things like that, but it's more money,” said Sonia Almanza, a quinceanera dress seller.

"It's going to be hard for people, a little bit, let's say $10, $20 extra in your paycheck, it's not going to be extra anymore, it's going to be for the regular,” said Laura Tena.

"I feel it's a mistake from the government. Because we as American consumers, we have to pay the tariff, you know? Because the producers will increase the prices, and then we have to pay them. So we are the ones who are going to pay for them?” said Alejandro Balderrama.

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Mexico sent nearly $350 billion worth of goods across the border to the U.S. last year.

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