Members of the Southern Arizona’s congressional delegation are in rare political agreement, all condemning President Trump's plan to impose new tariffs on Mexico imports.
On Friday morning, Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick said she plans on looking into whether the House of Representatives can fight the plan, calling it a "misuse of Presidential tariff authority."
The Tucson Democrat said Arizona would be hardest hit among border states, noting 40 percent of the state's imports come from Mexico and that trade is responsible for about 91,000 Arizona jobs.
"The President is punishing small business owners, ranchers, and factory workers all over the country and consumer confidence has already taken a hit in the market," Kirkpatrick said. "Under no circumstances should our local economy carry the burden of our President’s failed leadership on immigration."
Rep. Raúl Grijalva called the tariffs a reckless decision that will hurt Arizona families.
"Trump’s willingness to completely upend the economy removes any pretense that he cares about establishing good trade policies with our regional partners and is merely another attempt to exacerbate the crisis at the border and exploit it for his political gain," Grijalva said.
“Make no mistake, these tariffs will do little to solve the humanitarian crisis at our border. Instead, it will only harm American consumers, businesses, and workers who will ultimately pay the price. The people of Arizona, asylum seekers, the economy, and our values deserve better than to be disposable pawns in Trump’s depraved game and nonsensical trade policy,” the Tucson Democrat said in a prepared statement.
Senator Martha McSally said while she backs Trump's desire to stop what she sees as "unchecked illegal immigration," she doesn't support the tariffs, which she says which will harm Arizona's economy and be passed onto Arizona small businesses and families.
"There is an undeniable crisis at our Southern border that has led to communities, NGOs, and DHS begging for additional resources," McSally said on Friday.
The Tucson Republican said rather than tariffs, Congress must close loopholes in federal immigration policies.
Rep. Tom O'Halleran, a Democrat whose district sprawls from the northern edges of the Tucson to the Utah border, accused the President of trying to "weaponize international trade at the expense of hardworking Americans."
"This decision to raise tariffs is going to hurt our economy and raise the prices of goods for working families," O'Halleran said in a statement. "I am deeply concerned that tying our trade relationships with border security will derail the ongoing trade negotiations."
Senator Kyrsten Sinema said the Trump administration needs to work with Congress on a bipartisan immigration bill rather than backing tariffs that will damage the American economy.
“I have consistently opposed tariffs and introduced legislation to prevent harmful trade wars. Raising taxes on Arizonans won’t solve the problems we face at the border," Sinema said.
Earlier this year, Sinema introduced the Trade Security Act with Republican Senator Rob Portman which would have given Congress oversight on any tariffs implemented in the name of national security.