In just the past month, we have seen some impressive articles about our grand county:

  • “Pinal County prepares for influx of thousands of new jobs”
  • “Pinal County on the road to becoming an automotive manufacturing juggernaut”
  • “Pinal County solar project picks up tech, retail, mining and government customers”
  • “Pinal County has some economic lessons for Gila County”

On Friday we learned that one person can throw that all away.

I’m speaking of our president.

On Friday, President Trump announced that he will enact tariffs on Mexico in order to punish them for the influx of illegal immigration. First of all, the only people who will be hurt by these tariffs will be you and me by spending more on fruits and vegetables.

Next, there are a lot of large projects slated to come to Pinal County in the next year such as Lucid Motors and Nikola Motor Company that depend upon favorable trade with Mexico. Our proximity to our neighbors to the south is one of the reasons they chose Pinal County for their multibillion-dollar enterprises that will also supply our residents with high-paying jobs.

Like a bad target shooter, the president is going to be hitting Americans (particularly Pinal County residents) hard by this tariff, meanwhile Mexico will feel little if no effect. In the end, there will still be illegal immigration.

Even the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Sens. Sinema and McSally are against this bad idea.

If Pinal County’s economic development engine is stopped by these tariffs and other actions of the president, I can guarantee you it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to get it started again. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become a major player in the international markets, but with the swoop of one signature, we can see that go away forever.

I am asking Gov. Doug Ducey to stand against these tariffs and stand with Arizonans. Don’t let small-minded ideas take away our shot at greatness.


Pete Rios, D-Dudleyville, is a member of the Pinal County Board of Supervisors.