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Business group ‘very concerned’ that Trump’s tariffs will harm Arizonans

PHOENIX – President Donald Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, Mexico and Canada from didn’t go over well in Arizona.

Garrick Taylor, senior vice president of government relations and communications for the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Arizonans should be “very concerned for a number of reasons” about the plan the administration revealed Thursday.

“This makes life more expensive for Arizonans and for Americans,” Taylor told KTAR News 92.3 FM. “We buy products made of steel, and now those tariffs, which are really taxes, get passed along to American consumers.”

U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) echoed Taylor’s concerns with two pointed tweets that included articles about the moves. One that said, “This is no way to treat our allies, Mr. President,” and the other saying, “Trade wars do not end well.”

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the tariffs would be 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, and go into effect on Friday, as the administration followed through on the penalties after earlier granting exemptions to buy time for negotiations.

Trump had announced the tariffs in March, citing national security concerns.

In response, Europe and Mexico pledged to retaliate quickly, exacerbating trans-Atlantic and North American trade tensions.

Ross told reporters that talks with Canada and Mexico over revising the North American Free Trade Agreement were “taking longer than we had hoped.” Talks with Europe had “made some progress” but not enough for additional exemptions, he said in a conference call from Paris.

Taylor said the new tariffs will only hurt the NAFTA negotiations.

“What message does it send to our friends in Mexico and Canada and around the world when comes to negotiating trade deals that we would throw a monkey wrench like this into the process right in the middle of negotiations,” he said. “It’s the wrong message, wrong time, wrong policy.”

American producers, importers, exporters and consumers all will suffer, Taylor said.

“This is the tit-for-tat things that happen in a trade war that is so bad for the economy,” he said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Kathy Cline and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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