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Possible tariffs on goods from Mexico could impact Kern County farmers

Posted at 6:48 PM, May 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-31 21:48:21-04

BAKERSFIELD,Calif — President Trump announced a possible tariff on all goods coming from Mexico Friday.

The tariff could begin as early as June. The 5 percent tariffs on goods from Mexico could not only impact that country, but also right here in Kern County.

Travis Fugitt local district manager for Fugitt Farming company owns 14,000 acres and 11,000 are right here in Kern County. He says while he agrees with the president's motives, the extra costs would be a challenge.

“I am proud of our president's method of attack. He is aggressive he has an agenda and it’s a very quick and great way to get the countries to come to their senses,” said Fugitt.

The crops that Fugitt grow are exported items and he say that when the U.S. raises tariff’s so do other countries. Also, it makes it difficult to profit on items he would normally sell outside the United States, everything from cotton to almonds.

“We are happy to see the tariffs are happening to make it an even playing field,” Fugitt said.
“Compounding those challenges but yet if you look at the greater picture there are better things coming once its complete hopefully.”

Sherod Waite, CEO and president with Moneywise, a financial service company located in Bakersfield, says that everyone from large companies to mom and pop companies will have to deal with the added expenses and could pass those consumers.

“It would increase the cost of everything that we currently by from Mexico which we are on track to buy 600 billion dollars' worth of goods from Mexico,” Waite said.

Sherod says that due to the tariffs wars with China, Mexico is now our number one trade partner and the effects will be felt if the tariffs occur.

Trump says that if an agreement is not reach with Mexico that tariffs can jump up to 10 percent, something that will surely be felt by many.

“We know that tariffs or inefficient and not in a good way to deal with problems,” said Waite. “We want fair trade things need to be fair but certainly tariffs could cause future major problems.”