Tariff Hammer to Fall on Mexico

Tariff Hammer to Fall on Mexico

Tariff Hammer to Fall on Mexico

President Trump will lower the tariff hammer on Mexico if that nation doesn’t clean up its act at the border. Not only that, but the tariff will start at 5% and gradually increase until the border crisis is solved. So says President Trump.

And, as is his style, the President tweeted out his plan.

So why is he doing this now? Perhaps it’s because on Wednesday the Border Patrol apprehended the largest group of illegals yet.

Here’s what else the President has in store for Mexico: if the crisis continues, the tariff rate will increase to 10% on July 1. After that, the rate will go up 5% per month, up to 25% by October 1.

Of course, lots of folks aren’t too happy about this. Mexico naturally reacted negatively, its Undersecretary of Foreign Relations Carlos Seade calling it a “cold shower” and “very extreme.” And any pushback from Mexico could affect the NAFTA trade revision the countries are working on now.

The stock market didn’t react well either — U.S. futures dropped after the announcement, and the Dow may drop 150 points on Friday.

Matt Yglesias at liberal Vox wrote:

“Consequently, the impulse to lash out at Mexico seems at least in part like a quiet admission by the Trump administration that it has no real congressional strategy on either trade or immigration. . .”

But even conservative voices spoke out against Trump’s tariff hammer. Like Philip Klein at the Washington Examiner, who succinctly declared:

“This is mindbogglingly stupid on so many levels.”

Furthermore, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley ripped the tariff idea. Consider, too, that Grassley has been one of Congress’s most ardent get-tough immigration hawks.

“Trade policy and border security are separate issues. This is a misuse of presidential tariff authority and counter to congressional intent.”

We might snicker at millennials having to do without their avocado toast because of a tariff, but there are lots of goods we get from Mexico. The top imports include, for example, vehicles, machinery, mineral fuels, and medical equipment — along with all that produce.

tariff

Credit: Felixe/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0.

I’m not sure if this is a good move or not. Frankly, I’ve never liked the idea of imposing punitive tariffs, even though tariffs are currently part of the U.S. doing business with other nations. They raise prices for consumers, which especially impacts low-income citizens.

But we also are at a breaking point with our southern border. The President has no doubt thrown up his hands in despair at getting Congress to make any progress with immigration. And you must admit — all those people streaming across the border at El Paso in the wee hours show how weak it really is.

Maybe the tariff hammer is the shock treatment that Congress and Mexico need. Trump’s announcement apparently took Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador by surprise, along with the rest of his government. Now it looks like Obrador is reaching out to Trump.

And in Washington, White House officials had no idea what was coming either. Vice President Mike Pence was in Canada at a trade summit with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when he heard the news. Very few people saw this coming, but this, after all, is Trump’s style.

tariff

Credit: tenor.com.

Hold on to your butts, America. It’s going to be a bumpy ride if Trump’s tweeted tariff threat becomes reality. But trying to stem illegal immigration hasn’t worked out so well, has it?

 

Featured image: stevepb/pixabay/cropped/pixabay license.

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

1 Comment
  • CaptDMO says:

    Oh my!
    Hope that doesn’t price (eg)Carrier air conditioners right out of the US market!
    You mess with the bull, you get the horns.
    You play with the BIG boys, and you’re GONNA’ get HURT!

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