Tariffs on Mexico and China Could Actually Lower Gas Prices Here at Home

WITZ Radio News is an affiliate of Network Indiana 

STATEWIDE--You are likely going to be be paying less at the gas pump soon.

Many experts say the tariffs on Mexican and Chinese goods are going to hamper the US economy. Patrick DeHaan, Head of Petroleum Analysis for Gasbuddy.com, agrees with those predictions, but he adds something else.

"Tariffs would essentially mean that U.S. consumers are going to be paying more for goods and that could slow the economy down to the point where some of that increase in demand will revert to decreases in oil demand," DeHaan said.

DeHaan said continued escalation of additional tariffs will undermine the economy.

"We do import oil from Mexico. It's not a significant amount. I think Trump would probably avoid putting tariffs on oil, but you can't avoid the worry about the economic slowdown because Mexico is such a large trade partner," DeHaan said.

So, how will that translate to prices at the gas pump?

"Oil prices have dropped $12 per barrel. That should allow some gas stations to start dropping their gas prices into the $2.50s and $2.60s, maybe even a bit lower. We'll still see those infamous price cycles where prices soar 30 cents every week or so," DeHaan said.

When those hikes have happened recently, prices have gone up to $2.99. But in the weeks ahead, DeHaan believes the hike amount will drop to about $2.89 or possibly even $2.79 per gallon if things continue to erode in terms of a deal with Mexico and China.

"Now if there is a potential deal for both Mexico and China, that could eventually lead to prices going back up in the next month or two. A lot of what we see in prices right now is solely going to be driven based on what moves are happening from the White House. Normally, gas prices gently decline this time of year, but with all these trade battles going on, if there is improvement in these situations, it could drive prices back up later this summer," DeHaan said.

One of the cities in Indiana that has the cheapest gas prices is Noblesville.

"Currently, there is a Meijer station in Noblesville selling it for $2.69. Some other stations are in the $2.70 range there," DeHaan said.

The average in Indianapolis is $2.85 per gallon. The statewide average is $2.87. The national average sits at $2.81.