Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) is backing Trump's plan to hike tariffs on goods from Mexico, even though it amounts to a massive tax on families in his state.
Trump's new trade war with Mexico could cost North Carolina families more than $1.9 billion, but that hasn't stopped Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) from rushing to defend Trump's decision.
On Thursday, Tillis said Trump "should be able to use every tool available to try to end the crisis" at the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump's latest idea is to slap a 5% tariff on all goods from Mexico starting June 10, and increase the tariff each month until Mexico stops all illegal immigration along the U.S. border.
Tillis' latest statement backing Trump comes a few days after Tillis offered his "unequivocal support" for Trump's new tariffs.
According to an analysis by the Chamber of Commerce, Trump's threat of a 25% tariff, where Trump said it would be capped, will cost North Carolina families $1.92 billion. Even a 5% tariff will cost North Carolina families almost $385 million.
The same analysis shows other 2020 battleground states suffering under Trump's new trade war, with Texas, Michigan, Ohio, Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida poised to see a combined $50.9 billion tax hike if Trump imposes a 25% tariff on goods from Mexico.
Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell admits that Trump's tariffs are nothing more than a tax hike for working families.
"Let me just say there is a lack of enthusiasm among Senate Republicans for what would amount to a tax increase, frankly, on working-class people," McConnell said Thursday.
But Tillis is taking Trump's side over that of North Carolina families.
Tillis faces a tough reelection battle in 2020, and already has a Republican primary challenger who has attacked Tillis for being insufficiently loyal to Trump.
In the past, Tillis has flip-flopped on holding Trump accountable for declaring a fake emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border in order to fund his wall. Tillis wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post saying he would vote to stop Trump's power grab, only to cave to political pressure from far-right activists in his state.
After that experience, Tillis now seems unwilling to oppose Trump on anything — no matter how much harm it will bring to his home state.
"Senator Tillis is so terrified of his primary challenger, he's turned into nothing more than a rubberstamp for President Trump's most damaging policies, even when hardworking North Carolina farmers end up in the cross-hairs," Robert Howard, spokesperson for the North Carolina Democratic Party, told Shareblue Media. "Let this sink in: Senator Tillis is fine with effectively raising taxes on North Carolinians through new tariffs because he's terrified of losing his seat to a primary challenger."
Trump's various trade wars are increasing the cost of items like washing machines, shoes, and even children's toys. If Trump follows through on his latest threat, families in North Carolina and around the country will see even more tax hikes starting very soon.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.