Trade

Mexico Prepares Retaliatory Tariffs

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

It remains to be seen if Trump will impose tariffs on all goods imported from Mexico on Monday, but if he does we will likely see a new round of retaliatory tariffs imposed on American goods.

According to Mexican officials, the government's list of retaliatory tariffs would double down on tariffs imposed in response to Trump's tariffs on foreign metal. That means more tariffs on American agriculture.

Four government officials familiar with the situation, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said the list, which three of the sources said was prepared by the economy ministry, was with Lopez Obrador’s office. [...]

The products targeted are similar to those lined up in response to Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs last year, and were principally tailored toward hitting the U.S. president’s electoral base, according to one of the sources.

Sources who spoke to Reuters say Mexico's list of retaliatory tariffs does not include American corn, but it does include American meat, grains, and other agricultural products.

One industry that is particular vulnerable to tariffs is the American pork industry which exports 30 percent of their products to Mexico each year.

Corn growers are also concerned that corn could be added to Mexico's list of retaliatory tariffs if Trump continues to escalate.

From CNBC:

"Producers are extremely concerned about another potential trade retaliation from Mexico," said National Pork Producers Council President David Herring, a pork producer from North Carolina. "We just got away from the 20% punitive tariffs just a few weeks ago."

"Mexico is our top trade partner as far as U.S. pork by volume," said Herring, adding that the industry exports about 30% of its product to Mexico. [..]

"Amid a perfect storm of challenges in farm country, we cannot afford the uncertainty this action would bring," said Nebraska farmer Lynn Chrisp, president of the National Corn Growers Association. Also, he said the recent deal to lift steel tariffs on Mexico was an important breakthrough for USCMA but new tariffs threaten to reverse that progress.

Trump has said that he will increase tariffs on Mexican goods by 5 percent every month beginning on Monday, so if that happens it seems reasonable to assume that Mexico's list of retaliatory tariffs will expand.

Trump has threatened to impose tariffs as high as 25 percent on Mexico goods and that could prompt Mexico to impose tariffs on virtually everything we export to Mexico.

If Trump imposes tariffs on Monday and if he escalates his trade war in the future, I think we can kiss his fake NAFTA replacement -- the so-called USMCA -- goodbye. That is if it's not dead already.

Why would Mexican lawmakers ratify the USMCA while Trump is actively waging a trade war against Mexico? Why would our own Congress?

  • Badgerite

    King George III was better at ‘negotiating’. And he caused a revolutionary revolt.

  • Is it wrong that I’m really hoping that Mexico doesn’t blink and calls this idiot’s bluff? I don’t want them to appease him, economic turmoil be damned. At this point, economic turmoil would be welcome if it would get rid of the asshole.

  • muselet

    You can hardly blame the Mexican government for getting ready to respond to Donald Trump’s threats of tariffs.

    Of course, the Trump administration will profess shock and outrage that Mexico would do such a terrible thing, but that’s what any bully would do.

    As for the pork and corn producers, well, this is what most of y’all voted for. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

    –alopecia