Acting on a whim, Trump announced that he will impose tariffs on all goods imported from Mexico beginning in less than two weeks.
Without any apparent economic justification or consideration of how Mexico will retaliate, Trump says his new tariffs will increase every month until Mexico takes measures to block the flow of immigration to the United States.
Higher tariffs will start at 5% on June 10 and increase monthly up to 25% on Oct. 1, unless Mexico takes immediate action, he said.
“If the illegal migration crisis is alleviated through effective actions taken by Mexico, to be determined in our sole discretion and judgment, the tariffs will be removed,” Trump said.
[Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador] responded in a letter he posted on Twitter, calling Trump’s policy of America First “a fallacy” and accusing him of turning the United States into a “ghetto,” that stigmatized and mistreated migrants.
Unlike his tariffs on foreign metals or Chinese goods, Trump has not even tried to rhetorically support these tariffs by making an economic argument about jobs or manufacturing.
Of course, making an economic case for tariffs would be incredibly difficult in this instance because Americans are already paying for Trump's obsession with immigration.
Americans are paying for Trump's anti-immigrant gestapo. They're paying for his emergency order to build a fake wall. They're paying for the cost of a reduction in the availability of immigrant labor. They're paying for his tariffs on Mexican metal. And soon they will pay for his tariffs on all other goods imported from Mexico.
I have an unnerving hunch that Trump will try to use revenue generated by these new tariffs to pay for his fantasy border wall, meaning Americans will pay for that too even if Congress has not authorized it.
Trump's tariffs are taxes imposed by fiat.
Republicans are suppose to hate that kind of thing, right?