New Regulations at the Mexican Border Affect Local Economy

Importing cars into Mexico is no longer a profitable business for those involved. From used car lots to the border, people are losing money.

New regulations from the Mexican government raised tariffs for importing cars into that country.

"People are paying double, double than last year," said Jose Murguia, who imports cars into Mexico for a living.

Under the new guidelines, people like Murguia will have to pay twice the value of a vehicle, which includes the new tariff and other fees to nationalize the car, before it can cross the international border.

Murguia says this will most likely halt the number of cars leaving United States. The same is true, the other way around.

Raul Mendiola assists customers from Mexico who come to U.S. to purchase American cars. But now, his clientele is staying home.

"They don't want to come over here. Mexico's economy is too slow. If we are slow, they are more slow," said Mendiola, customs broker representative.

He says his business has slowed down drastically since the regulations took effect Jan. 1st. But he isn't alone.

"If they don't come buy cars, that affects the car lots, the motels, the restaurants," he said.

Mendiola adds that used car lots are selling less older models because people cannot afford to pay the price at the border.

But there is hope for the future. The Mexican government is working to ease up on the high tariffs. These new tariffs only apply to vehicles 10 years or older and are also regulated by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).