President halts proposed U.S. tariffs on Mexican imports

What was announced?

On June 7, President Trump “indefinitely suspended” his previously announced plan to implement tariffs on all imports from Mexico, effective June 10. In turn, Mexico agreed to take further measures to reduce migration from Central American asylum seekers – largely from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – who travel through Mexico on their way to the U.S.

As part of the agreement with the U.S., Mexico will deploy its National Guard across the country, with special emphasis on its southern border. In addition, those seeking asylum in the U.S. will be returned to Mexico to await consideration of their claims. Mexico will allow the asylum seekers to remain in the country during this time, offering them jobs and providing health care and education. In turn, the U.S. has agreed to expedite the asylum application process.

Why this action?

On May 30, President Trump announced that he would use emergency powers under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) to place escalating tariffs on all goods imported into the U.S. from Mexico until “the illegal migration crisis is alleviated.”

The administration was trying to pressure Mexico – the U.S.’ largest trading partner – to address the increasing number of Central American migrants trying to enter the U.S. illegally via Mexico.

What is NAFEM’s position?

NAFEM is pleased to see the proposed tariffs on goods imported from Mexico suspended and is hopeful that this action bodes well for the successful passage of the United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement (USMCA).

According to NAFEM President Joe Carlson, CFSP, president, Lakeside Manufacturing, Inc., Milwaukee, Wis.

This new agreement proves that there are acceptable solutions beyond tariffs to solving differences. Our world has become too small and supply chains too complex to think that tariffs are the only approach. Tariffs are taxes paid directly and indirectly by U.S. consumers, not foreign companies or governments. They reduce the profits of U.S. companies, hurt good-paying local manufacturing jobs, and unnecessarily increase costs by raising prices for products used by American families. None of these situations help grow a strong U.S. economy.

NAFEM continues to urge the administration to quickly work toward trade-related solutions that do not include tariffs that ultimately hurt companies, manufacturing workers and consumers across North America.

What is NAFEM doing to address this issue?

NAFEM is reaching out to elected officials across the U.S. to share the membership’s concern about the negative impact of tariffs on their supply chains. Most recently, NAFEM arranged a roundtable briefing on tariffs with Senator Ron Johnson and NAFEM members Alto-Shaam, Hatco and Perlick at Lakeside Manufacturing in Milwaukee, Wis. The association also is actively working with organizations like the Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users (CAMMU), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and others to help share the message.

What should my company do to address this issue?

  1. Share your concerns. Elected officials need to hear from NAFEM members impacted by tariffs. Find your Congressional representatives and their contact information
  2. Join NAFEM at NAM’s Congressional Fly-in July 17, in Washington, D.C., to help elected officials understand the trade challenges you face and why the USMCA is important to your business. Even better? Bring some of your employees to meet with their Senators and Representatives.


Contact Charlie Souhrada, CFSPNAFEM’s vice president, regulatory & technical affairs, or visit the Advocacy page of