San Diego

Local Businesses Caught in Tensions Between Mexico and U.S.

In 2015, California exported nearly $27 billion worth of goods to Mexico

Some San Diego businesses are being impacted as tensions between Mexico and President Donald Trump's administration continue to rise over talks of a border wall and an increased tax on imports from Mexico.

According to the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Mexico is the third larged trading partner for the U.S.

In 2015, California exported nearly $27 billion worth of goods to Mexico.

NBC 7 spoke to some business owners in San Ysidro on Wednesday who said a boycott with Mexico would be devastating for their business.

At JSD, there are far less customers than normal, manager Bertha Fridman said.

"Last year we had tons of people and now they are afraid just to come," Fridman told NBC 7.

Everard Meade, with the Trans Border Institute said he believes the tensions could cause Mexico to retaliate.

"It's a competitive global environment and we are always balancing several forces off of each other. It's not a zero-sum game," Meade said.

Some of the major businesses that could be impacted include shipping, tech and auto. In San Diego, the trucking business sees about 800,000 trucks entering through Otay Mesa.

"There are 23 states in the United States that send a majority of their exports to Mexico," Meade said. "We are absolutely dependent on that relationship and if Mexico retaliates and starts putting on import duties, that is going to affect foremost American small and medium size businesses."

For Fridman, if businesses does not pick up again, it could affect their staffing.

"This is the first time that we are just thinking that we have to cut hours and we don't want to because we have employees for many many years," Fridman said.

The Chamber of Commerce told NBC 7 there was a threat of a strike from Tijuana that has seen been pacified.

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