What is a tariff? (June 12)

by Debbie Norrell, Courier Lifestyles Editor

There has been a lot of talk about tariffs lately. Mexico was just threatened with a tariff if they didn’t keep their people away from our border. In short, this is what happened. Trump creates a tariff problem and then cures it and claims he is THE hero, this appears to be his M O. The only thing I could gather from this tariff threat is that we would be paying more for goods.

On a day-to-day basis I don’t think about tariffs, so I had to look it up. A tariff is a tax on imports or exports between sovereign states. It is a form of regulation of foreign trade and a policy that taxes foreign products to encourage or safeguard domestic industry. Traditionally, states have used them as a source of income. Now, they are among the most widely used instruments of protection, along with import and export quotas. Tariffs are a tax on imports. They’re typically charged as a percentage of the transaction price that a buyer pays a foreign seller. These are some of the top produce crops that are imported largely from Mexico: mangos, limes, papayas, avocados and blackberries. The U.S. is least dependent on Mexico for produce during the summer, when many domestic crops such as tomatoes and berries are abundant. This may hurt the Mexican farmer but it would hurt American companies, many American farming and marketing companies, including Driscoll’s, Sunkist, NatureSweet and Taylor Farms, grow or source in Mexico. If the 25 percent tariff went into effect, it would cost American consumers of Mexican produce $3 billion, said the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas in a recent statement.

What I want to know is how and who was going to calculate the tariff increases. Who was going to count the people coming in illegally and determine that the numbers were going down therefore not increasing the tariff? Was this piece of the puzzle ever revealed? I guess we can now breathe a sigh of relief, right at the eleventh hour 45 tweeted that Mexico and the United States have agreed on a deal to stop the flow of illegal Central American immigrants from coming into the U.S. The president said the deal suspended steep tariffs on imported Mexican goods that would have gone into effect Monday. I still want to know how it was going to work. Who was going to count the people and make the decision that too many immigrants were still coming into the United States. I have never in my adult life been so sick of an administration. It seems like each day we wake up to something new and crazy.

What really disturbs me are the people who say that President Obama did nothing for “our people.” His list of accomplishments were long and they benefited everyone that was eligible for them. Remember 44 was blocked from so much, even being able to select a supreme court justice because it was his final year in office which make no sense to me. Next week…the list of accomplishments.

(Email Debbie at debbienorrell@aol.com.)


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