Trade

Trump Threatens to Restart Trade War With Mexico. Again.

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

Trump's fake NAFTA replacement, the so-called U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), went into effect on July 1st but that has not stopped the Trump regime from threatening to restart their trade war with Mexico several times over.

The regime's latest threat comes from Trump's trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, who has seemingly claimed out of the blue -- no pun intended -- that imports from Mexico threaten American blueberry farmers. And no, I didn't have that on my bingo card, either.

Lighthizer is calling for one of the regime's trademark "investigations" that have all led to tariffs even if the investigation did not produce any publicly available evidence to support tariffs.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) also will request that the U.S. International Trade Commission initiate a Section 201 global safeguard investigation to review “the extent to which increased imports of blueberries have caused serious injury to domestic blueberry growers.”

If the commission finds injury, the U.S. government could impose tariffs on products to help domestic growers.

"President (Donald) Trump recognizes the challenges faced by American farmers and is committed to promoting and securing fair trade and a level playing field for all American producers," U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement here which also outlined actions by the Commerce Department and the Department of Agriculture.

"Promoting and securing fair trade and a level playing field" was ostensibly the reason for negotiating and signing the USMCA.

Americans got a raw deal under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Trump has always claimed, and yet it appears his deal is no different by his own standards. But we knew it wouldn't be; even congressional Republicans admitted that about 95 percent of the new agreement was the same as NAFTA. The similarity of the deal is the reason why it was able to move through Congress in the first place. No one wanted to rock the boat and Trump's deal didn't in any significant way. White House negotiators abandoned most of his biggest demands when the agreement was written.

It may be true that American blueberry farmers are having difficulty competing with Mexican farmers on the open market for all I know, but that's the Free Market for you. Intervening in the market by imposing tariffs on Mexican farmers would lead to retaliation that would be shouldered by other American farmers and possibly other industries.

The Biden administration will almost certainly have their own trade battles to fight, too, because the global economy is quickly changing, but I'm fairly confident theirs will be based on actual evidence and data rather than industry cronyism. Trump's entire trade war has been waged in the interest of being reelected by Midwestern farm and metal workers.

I will call out the Biden administration's trade actions, too, if they aren't based on something tangible; if their actions won't actually lead to a better outcome.