Kerrigan on Mexican Import Tariffs: Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses Will be Harmed by New Tariffs and Potential USMCA Setback

By at 31 May, 2019, 9:34 am


For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C. – The following statement can be attributed to Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) president & CEO Karen Kerrigan in response to President Trump’s threat of new tariffs on Mexican imports as a strategy to deal with border control issues:

“The use of tariffs as leverage or a negotiating strategy does not appear to be working with our trading partners.  What we do know for sure is that the imposition of tariffs is raising costs for small businesses, disrupting export markets for small businesses, and are a drag on economic growth. Tariffs are taxes that raise costs for consumers, and make our businesses less competitive. The newly announced Mexico tariffs, if acted upon, are not only bad for small businesses and entrepreneurs but come at a horrible time. Mexico and Canada are moving forward with ratification of USMCA, and this new action undermines trust and the potential passage of this important agreement. Congress must step up on this critical matter and work with President Trump’s team to resolve the growing influx of illegal immigrants and related humanitarian crisis. Imposing new taxes on Americans is not the answer.”

Small Business Trade Data with Mexico

According to the International Trade Administration small to mid-size businesses dominate trade with Mexico.

Export Data

Mexico: Of the 57,098 U.S. firms that export to Mexico, 57.7 percent have less than 20 employees, 72.3 percent have less than 50 employees, and 81.4 percent have less than 100 employees.

Import Data

Mexico: In terms of imports, of the 15,481 U.S. firms that import from Mexico, 57.6 percent have less than 20 employees, 67.9 percent have less than 50 employees, and 74.6 percent have less than 100 employees.


Karen Kerrigan, e-mail:

SBE Council is nonpartisan advocacy, research and education organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. For 25 years, SBE Council has worked on and advanced a range of private sector and public policy initiatives to strengthen the ecosystem for strong startup activity and small business growth. Visit for additional information. Twitter: @SBECouncil


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