The U.S. and Mexico have a robust trade in tires, according to U.S. Department of Commerce data. Mexico is the U.S.'s No. 2 tire sector export destination, taking in $1.64 billion worth of U.S.-produced tires and tire-related products last year. In return, the U.S. imported $920.8 million, resulting in a trade surplus of $723.8 million.
Companies producing tires in Mexico are: Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.; Goodyear; Group Michelin; JK Tyre & Industries; and Pirelli & C. S.p.A.
The announcement of the new tariffs on Mexico stunned U.S. business associations, as well as both Democratic and Republican legislators.
"Trade policy and border security are separate issues," Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a statement.
"This is a misuse of presidential tariff authority and counter to congressional intent," Grassley said. "Following through on this threat would seriously jeopardize passage of USMCA, a central campaign pledge of President Trump's and what could be a big victory for this country."
In response to Trump's threat, David French, senior vice president for government relations at the National Retail Federation, said:
"The growing tariff bill paid by U.S. businesses and consumers is adding up and will raise the cost of living for American families. Forcing Americans to pay more for produce, electronics, auto parts and clothes isn't the answer to the nation's immigration challenges, and this certainly won't help move USMCA forward."
Meanwhile, the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, which consistently has opposed tariffs, said imposing tariffs on Mexican goods would not create a more secure border.
Instead, MEMA insisted, such tariffs "will only serve as an additional tax on the American people by increasing the cost of goods and putting jobs and investment in the U.S. at risk."
Motor vehicle parts trade between the U.S. and Mexico totaled $165 billion in 2018, equivalent to $452 million per day, MEMA noted.
The Plastics Industry Association said tariffs on Mexican goods would cause "immediate harm to the plastics supply chain" as well as endangering USMCA ratification.
The National Association of Manufacturers said it agreed with the Trump administration on the need for immigration reform, but said retaliatory tariffs were the wrong way to accomplish it.
"Intertwining difficult trade, tariff and immigration issues creates a Molotov cocktail of policy, and America's manufacturing workers should not be forced to suffer because of the failure to fix our immigration system," said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.