Inland Empire consumers divided over possible tariffs on imported Mexican goods

FONTANA, Calif. (KABC) -- President Donald Trump's threat to slap a tariff on imported goods from Mexico is causing worry among some consumers, business leaders and elected officials on this side of the U.S. side of the border.

Outside a Fontana home improvement store, Kristy Highland unloaded her three children from her SUV to run an errand. The mother of three did not welcome news of a possible tariff on imports from the United States' southern neighbor.

"Buying everyday goods that we all need, it sucks that prices are going up and up, and it doesn't seem like anyone really any wants to do anything to help the average normal American family," said Highland.

On Thursday, in a series of Tweets, Trump threatened to impose a 5 percent tariff on all imported goods coming into the U.S. from Mexico if the nation didn't do more to stop the flow of illegal immigration across the border. He went on to say the tariffs could be raised as high as 25 percent by October.

"It's really passed disproportionately ... directly onto the consumer. So it raises your prices in the store," said economist Kimberly Clausing of Reed College.

Everything from avocados and tomatoes to cars and electronics would be impacted. But some consumers say they are willing to pay more at the checkout stand if helps crack down on illegal crossings at the border.

"I am willing to pay an additional 5 percent with no problem whatsoever, as long as we are able to control the borders and be able to determine who is coming into our country and who should not be coming into our country," said Tony Mandala.

Trump has given Mexico until June 10th to come up with a remedy.
Copyright © 2019 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.