In case you’re still not clear on how tariffs work, the tariff is paid by the IMPORTER, not the EXPORTER. While this hurts the exporting country by potentially reducing its exports (because its products are more expensive to buy with the tariff added), if the importer does not have a cheaper source, it will simply pass the cost along to the consumers, especially in a strong economy.
Let’s assume that this will happen to only 50% of the imports from Mexico (a very low estimate). If the first 5% tariff is implemented , this will mean $30,00,000 in price increases in Virginia. In Texas, the largest dollar-value importer of Mexican goods, it would be $450,000,000.
In many cases, long term contracts with Mexican suppliers will force importers to pay the tariff. In any case, it would take months, if not years, to replace supply chains for many goods manufactured in Mexico that are used in various construction and further manufacturing in the US. Even if contractors and factories opt to pay the tariff rather than curtail operations, it will create a drag on the economy.
Of course, the presumption is that Mexico will make some token gesture and the tariff will not be implemented. In which case, the whole thing will have been political theater. But if Mexico refuses, US consumers will either have to pay higher prices for goods imported from Mexico or go without those that cannot be imported from elsewhere. If the tariff has a negative impact on the Mexican economy, this will only increase the likelihood of economic refugees from there.