Trade

After USMCA Signing, Trump Considers Tariffs On Mexico

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Although Trump just signed his fake replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) into law, that doesn't mean he has ruled out the possibility of imposing tariffs on Mexican goods.

It's not entirely clear what actions the Trump regime is planning to take but, just two days before Trump signed the USMCA into law, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer evidently sent a letter to Mexican officials threatening to impose duties on farm goods.

Why? Because Trump is up for reelection this year.

In response to a letter earlier this month from the top U.S. trade negotiator pledging protectionist measures for farmers in the politically important states of Florida and Georgia, Mexico is promising to retaliate in kind if such steps are taken. [...]

The letter, obtained from a third party, was addressed to the head of Mexico’s National Farm Council, or CNA, and dated Jan. 27, just two days before U.S. President Donald Trump triumphantly signed the revamped North American trade deal, known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA), in Washington, attended by smiling American farmers as well as senior Mexican officials.

CNA President Bosco de la Vega said in an interview he anticipates the U.S. measures would likely target “successful” Mexican exports including tomatoes, berries and mangos.

Robert Lighthizer also reportedly addressed a letter to Florida state lawmakers pledging to take some unspecified action to protect farmers in their state.

Lighthizer explained the Trump administration recognized farmers’ “continuing concern that certain unfair, non-market trade practices” that have led to more foreign competition and “unfair pricing.” He promised to release a plan to implement measures available under U.S. law that will address “any trade-distorting policies” within 60 days of the USMCA entering into force.

Pledging to take action before something has even happened exposes the fact that Trump may impose more tariffs or stealth taxes on American consumers for purely political reasons; because he's running for reelection.

If we're being real, Trump's entire global trade war has been waged for political reasons, but this is even more on the nose.

If the Trump regime follows through on these threats to impose duties on Mexican farm goods, Mexican Deputy Trade Minister Luz Maria de la Mora says they will respond by imposing retaliatory tariffs on American corn, wheat, and pork.

  • muselet

    Donald Trump could have waited. Three days, a week, even a month before announcing the start of yet another trade war. Enough time to provide a bit of plausible deniability to this very public betrayal of a major trading partner.

    But no. Trump is about as patient as a hungry toddler who sees a cupcake on the kitchen table. Waiting is something that’s not in his skill set.

    Sadly, farmers—the very ones who will be most hurt by tit-for-tat tariffs with Mexico—will vote overwhelmingly for Trump come November.

    –alopecia