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On Mexico border, Republican business owners oppose Trump's tariff threat

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A lifelong Republican, Russ Jones supports President Donald Trump and agrees he needs to take action to deal with an immigration crisis on the border with Mexico.
A lifelong Republican, Russ Jones supports President Donald Trump and agrees he needs to take action to deal with an immigration crisis on the border with Mexico.
Jones also has a customs brokerage business to run, however, and says Trump’s lingering threat to impose tariffs on imports from Mexico unless its government stems the flow of Central American migrants across the U. S.-Mexico border is terrible policy.
Trump, infuriated by a surge of illegal immigrants in recent months, had threatened to impose a 5% tariff on Mexican imports starting on Monday, and steadily increase it to 25% in coming months, unless Mexico acted to stop what he describes as an invasion.
On Friday Trump backed down from imposing the tariff, saying Mexico had agreed to help stem the illegal border traffic, but made clear he will go back to the plan if Mexico does not fully cooperate.
As a customshouse broker, Jones, 71, handles the paperwork and logistics for thousands of clients, including Toyota and Sony, who ship merchandise to and from Mexico every day. He runs 10 outlets along the border in California, Arizona and Texas, and has offices in Mexico.
He said the threat of tariffs will hang over businesses that rely on trade with Mexico and likely has cost his customers millions of dollars to finance and prepare for cross-border shipments at a higher tariff rate.
“I don’t know of any of my clients that see the imposition of duties and tariffs on a non-trade issue as a good thing. They are very unhappy about it and it doesn’t matter if they are Democrats or Republicans,” Jones told Reuters at his warehouse in San Luis, just a few hundred yards from the border.

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