President Donald Trump's new tariffs on Mexico are proving divisive in auto industry — and many auto workers are frustrated that they are casualties of the president's ignorance on trade.
Sean Crawford, a GM worker who just moved to Flint, Michigan to take a new job after plant closures forced him out of his previous one, told CNN that he was worried not just about the economic impact of the tariffs, but the political impact on the U.S. image abroad.
"It makes us look awful in the eyes of the world," said Crawford. "And quite honestly, I'm ashamed.'
Trump already raised tariffs on China last year in an attempt to boost U.S. manufacturers, which economists broadly agree is a counterproductive method and could cost the overall economy billions of dollars. His new tariffs on Mexico are less about economics than politics — they are meant to force Mexico to do more to block Central American migrants from crossing the U.S. border.
"I've really seen the ups and downs of the auto industry," said Crawford. "You raise the price of these products, less people are going to buy them. It's just commonsense economics. And if less people buy the products that I'm building every day, then they're going to have to lay people off."
He added that tariff-related auto plant layoffs could come with no warning whatsoever for the workers: "In the contract, it says they only have to give you 24 hour notice."
If President Trump’s tariffs on Mexico go into effect, it could raise costs in the US by billions of dollars in the… https://t.co/4rNUZWZP1c— New Day (@New Day)1559736787.0