Trade

“We’re moving forward with the tariffs”

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump is doing what he normally does -- hovering his finger over the big red button and waiting until the last second to press it -- so we can't say for certain that he will impose tariffs on all goods imported from Mexico on Monday, but the Trump regime is taking steps to do that.

The White House is publicly stating that Trump could still change his mind today or tomorrow, but they're also filing an official notice that tariffs will begin on Monday.

The U.S. plans to issue notice today to pave the way for tariffs on Mexico to take effect Monday, but President Donald Trump could decide over the weekend to delay the move as talks continue over a surge in illegal migration, a top White House aide said.

The notice for the tariffs is expected to be published Friday, [Mike Pence's chief of chief Marc Short] said. “But I think that there is the ability, if negotiations continue to go well, that the president can turn that off at some point over the weekend.”

As of now, “we’re moving forward with the tariffs and they will go into effect Monday,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters Friday on Air Force One before departing Ireland.

Based on all of their public statements, Trump and his advisers appear to believe that imposing tariffs on Monday will bring Mexico closer to making a deal to quickly roll back the tariffs, but I don't see it that way.

Justifying a decision to eliminate tariffs -- or making the concessions necessary to roll them back once they're on the books -- is more politically difficult than avoiding tariffs in the first place.

Mexican lawmakers and the general public will turn against the Trump regime and that will make it even more difficult for Mexican President López Obrador to give Trump anything he wants. You know, to the extent that Trump can even define exactly what he wants. Imposing tariffs now will also derail the process of ratifying Trump's fake NAFTA replacement, the so-called USMCA.

Trump departed from his golf course in Ireland this morning and he will presumably take control of talks that have been led by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone when he arrives in the Unites States.

If the Trump regime has truly made "progress" in talks with their Mexican counterparts over the last two days while the talks have been led by someone else, it would be reasonable to guess that Trump will burst onto the scene like an orange Kool-Aid Man and blow it all up.

I expect we will know either later this evening or tomorrow whether or not Trump will impose the tariffs on Monday or delay them for an unspecified amount of time.

  • muselet

    Subject, as ever, to Donald Trump’s whims, there appears to have been an agreement reached between the US and Mexico.

    As I understand the reporting, Mexico agreed to deploy its National Guard throughout the country, including 6000 to be sent to the Guatemalan border (which would seem to pull the National Guard away from its role in combating the drug cartels), and taking “decisive action” against human smuggling networks (certainly a worthy goal, if not for the Trump administration’s reasons).

    Being a cynical sort, I doubt the pattern of immigration will change because of this agreement, but as an empiricist, I’m willing to be convinced otherwise.

    –alopecia