June 5, 2019 Press Release

McSally “All For” Trump Tariff Strategy & Other Takeaways

McSally “All For” Trump Tariff Strategy & Other Takeaways from Her Tele-Town Hall

McSally says she is “all for” Trump’s strategy of threatening tariffs on Mexican imports even though she admits the policy would be a disaster for Arizona working families 

PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. Martha McSally yesterday said she is “all for” President Donald Trump’s reckless threat to levy new tariffs on all Mexican goods imported to the U.S. — even as she also admitted that such tariffs would be a disastrous tax hike and inflict severe economic pain on Arizona working families.

McSally’s Tuesday night telephone town hall with Sen. Lindsey Graham — one of the biggest supporters of Trump’s threatened tariffs on Mexico — yet again highlighted the politically tenuous position that McSally is in, facing pressure from the right to back the president’s policies — even when they hurt Arizona.

Here are three takeaways from the town hall:

1. McSally said she’s “all for” Trump threatening reckless tariff hikes on Mexican imports:

  • “I’m all for putting pressure on Mexico to do their part. So, as a negotiating strategy putting pressure on them and having them come to the table and see if we can get a breakthrough.”
  • “I appreciate [Trump’s] frustration with Mexico and I hope that they’ll step up to do more under the pressure of how this could potentially impact them and I hope we get a breakthrough.”

2. McSally admitted the economic dangers of such a reckless approach:

  • “Mexico is also Arizona’s number 1 trading partner. We have lots of jobs — over 200,000 jobs in Arizona that are dependent on this cross-border commerce that happens.”
  • “[I]n general, I don’t think tariffs are the solution to address it. That’s a tax on Arizonans — that’s a tax on Arizona hardworking families.”
  • “I don’t want that to be long-term harming Arizonans and Americans.”

3. McSally is one again cracking under political pressure.

  • McSally was throughout the call asked if she would “stick together” and “support Donald Trump if he goes ahead with tariffs,” and she was pushed to voice her “all for”-support for a strategy she herself admitted will hurt Arizona.
  • As EJ Montini wrote earlier this week: McSally “decided to take the safest of safe steps toward appealing to statewide Arizona voters” — but even that is causing blowback among the Trump base.