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A not so tariff-ic idea….

31 May 2019

Donald Trump is unilaterally going to start slapping a five percent tariff on Mexican exports to the United States, raising the tariff by five percent per month “until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP”… the stopping point, or even progress on reducing migration based on assessments made on an ““ad hoc basis”.

Considering that migration THROUGH (not from) Mexico is largely driven by the misguided policies of the United States in Central America, the latest being the US adminstration’s cutting off all financial assistance to those countries to ameliorate the conditions forcing people to leave, and Mexico’s government has been raising money (and offering a good ten million dollars of its own) for a “Marshal Plan” for the region… I suppose Mexicans should be prepared for… I donno, a stronger peso, more European and Asian trade, less US and more Argentinian and Brazilian beef, maybe no ratification of “NAFTA 2.0” (aka USMCA in Engliah, a more rational T-MEC in Spanish) which was up for ratification by the Senate of the Republic this coming week… and…. I suppose those wealthy Mexicans with money in the US stock markets took a beating yesterday, like everyone else.

The downside is mostly north of the border… higher prices for everything from auto parts and electronics to gelatin (Mexico is the world’s #1 supplier of gelatin) although it will impact Mexican firms involved in transport as exports to Mexico’s other trading partners… the Pacific Rim countries, the European Union, South America… and the domestic market (which the present MORENA administration hopes to grow anyway) takes up some of the slack.

The Mexican government’s response to Trump’s surprising (and, the Mexfiles believes, absolutely frigging NUTS!) ukase has been calm.  AMLO wrote “With all due respect, although you have the right to express it, ‘America First’ is a fallacy because until the end of times, even beyond national borders, justice and universal fraternity will prevail.”

OF course, Mexico could.. if it were the “shithole” of right-wing US fantasies, “STOP” those migrants, but, alas, it’s a civilized place.

The Mexican president said his country was doing “as much as possible” to stem the flow of Central American migrants through his country to the United States, and “without violating human rights.”

He also wrote that Mexico wanted to avoid a confrontation with the United States on the issue.

The Hill: “Trump announces tariffs on Mexico over immigration” and “Mexican president on Trump immigration tariffs: ‘America First is a fallacy’” (Rafael Bernal, 30 May 2019)

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