Immigration Trade

Trump’s Tariffs On Mexico Are Probably Happening

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump recently announced that he would impose tariffs on all goods imported from Mexico beginning on June 10th leaving himself some time to change his mind, but it does not currently appear that he will.

Trump spoke at a joint press conference alongside British Prime Minister Theresa May this morning where he said he will impose the tariffs if Mexico doesn't do as he commands.

“We’re going to see if we can do something, but I think it’s more likely that the tariffs go on,” Trump said at a news conference in London, describing large flows of migrants into America as an “invasion.”

“Mexico should step up and stop this onslaught, this invasion into our country,” Trump said, also calling on the U.S. Congress to pass immigration laws to address the situation and blaming Democrats for stalling any such effort.

For their part, the Mexican government has drawn a clear line in the sand.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said the country was committed to continuing to work to keep migrants from Central America from reaching the U.S. border. Pushing back against Trump’s charge that Mexico was doing “nothing” to help, the government said 250,000 more immigrants would reach the United States in 2019 without its efforts.

Ebrard said, however, that a proposal favored by some U.S. officials to designate Mexico a “safe third country,” which would force Central Americans seeking asylum in the United States to apply for it instead in Mexico, was not an option.

“An agreement about a safe third country would not be acceptable for Mexico,” Ebrard told reporters in Washington. “They have not yet proposed it to me. But it would not be acceptable and they know it.”

In short, Mexico is never going to give Trump what he wants to the extent that Trump can even define what exactly he wants.

I personally believe that this is all a charade and that Trump intends to use revenue generated by the new tariffs to pay for his fantasy border wall.

I can easily imagine Trump claiming that Mexico is finally paying for his wall even though the tariffs will be paid for by Americans. And in my opinion, this would be an unconstitutional tax and a greater threat to Democracy than almost anything else Trump has done.

  • muselet

    This morning, Steve Benen called our attention to this article in The Atlantic, titled “Trump’s Two Crutches”:

    According to current and former aides, who requested anonymity to speak freely, when Trump feels he has lost control of the narrative, he grasps at two issues: border security and trade. Those aides said he sees these topics as reset buttons, ways to rile both Democratic and Republican lawmakers and draw attention away from whatever dumpster fire is blazing in a given week

    Sounds about right to me. So does this:

    One former senior White House official explained Trump’s instincts as a function of his intractable belief that the American people support his policies on immigration and trade, even if party leaders do not. As the source put it to me, the president thrives on the warm reception he receives at rallies and believes that those policies fuel it.

    Benen:

    Or put another way, the White House has no policy process. It instead has the whims of an erratic amateur who sees two major issues – neither of which he understands in any meaningful way – as a pacifier. Mexico is facing an economic threat, not because our neighbor deserves punishment, but because Robert Mueller, Democrats, and news organizations made the Republican feel bad.

    Your government at work.

    Sleep tight.

    –alopecia

    • waspuppet

      … his intractable belief that the American people support his policies on immigration and trade …

      The only American people he cares about do. Then again, that’s why he cares about them. It’s a chicken-and-stupid situation.

      • muselet

        Recursive stupidity. Who could have predicted?

        –alopecia

        • waspuppet

          About 65 million people, at least.

          • muselet

            Fair point.

            –alopecia

  • waspuppet

    I really wish they’d stop acting like anything they do will have any effect. This is all about Trump’s feelings. It’s the only motivation and it’s the only measuring stick. He will start blathering about “Mexico immigrants cartels coyotes blah blah blah” whenever he feels like it, regardless of facts.