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Trump Attempts Distraction From Mueller With More Tariffs

Trump's "tariffs" on Mexico seem more like hostage-taking of the new cycle.
Trump Attempts Distraction From Mueller With More Tariffs
Image from: Fox10 Phoenix screenshot

The Adventures of Tariffman, Part Infinity

Comrade Stupid, in a pique of fear and panic over the Mueller press conference tried to force headline writers AGAIN to change topics! He turned his eyes south, and he made a run for the border! MEXICO!!1!

Hair Füror declared that he might try to end asylum for all people from Central America. His plan would do this by prohibiting entry to people who lived in another country other than their own before coming to the U.S., which bars people who traveled through Mexico to reach the southern border.

(I know Central America is not Mexico, but work with me here, as we get to Part Deux!)

Part Deux:

(CNN)President Donald Trump threatened on Thursday to impose new tariffs on Mexico if the country does not step up its immigration enforcement actions, combining his boiling border-related frustrations with his preferred method of punishing foreign countries.

Trump said in a White House statement that the first round of tariffs would begin on June 10 at 5% “on all goods imported from Mexico.”

The statement said Trump would carry out his threat under authority from the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and that he would lift tariffs only “if the illegal migration crisis is alleviated through effective actions taken by Mexico.”The statement warned further that if Mexico does not act as Trump demands, tariffs would go up to 10% by July, 15% by August, 20% by September and reach a permanent level of 25% by October.

NYTimes:

“An across-the-board tariff on all Mexican goods would exact a serious toll on American consumers and corporations, and is likely to generate significant opposition among businesses. Rufus Yerxa, the president of the National Foreign Trade Council, which represents the nation’s largest exporters, called the move ‘a colossal blunder.’ …“Mexico is Washington’s largest trading partner, sending across the border items like tomatoes, cars and rugs. Mexico sent the United States $346.5 billion of goods last year — meaning that a 5 percent tariff on those products would amount to a tax increase of more than $17 billion. Most of the costs would then be passed on to businesses and consumers.”


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Axios’ morning email thingie:

Why it matters: Mexico recently became the No. 1 trading partner with the U.S., and a significant percentage of that trade is completed by auto companies.

  • The big picture: In addition to impacting consumers and company bottom lines, the tariffs are likely to impact jobs.

The bottom line, per WashPost: “The economic consequences of Trump’s new plan could be swift and severe.”

  • “If the tariffs damaged the Mexican economy, more of its citizens would try to cross the border to find work in the United States.”

But what’s that, you ask? What about his #1 goal to get his NAFTA replacement through Congress? Tiger Beat on the Potomac morning email thingie speculates…

AND THAT ALL BRINGS US TO NUMBER TWO: THE USMCA. It’s fair to ask whether the tariffs have killed the president’s proposed trade deal with Mexico and Canada, which the White House says is his top legislative priority. Many analysts are saying this already. But we don’t know the answer to that, so let’s leave it aside for now.

If the USMCA had a chance before the tariffs, the White House did itself no favors Thursday when it took a move to significantly annoy Speaker NANCY PELOSI, the only lawmaker who matters when it comes to Trump getting a vote on the USMCA.

BREAKING IT DOWN …

— THE WHITE HOUSE on Thursday evening started the clock on passing the USMCA. That means Congress would receive the deal for consideration in 30 days, and has to ratify it by the end of September — 120 days. It’s a pressure tactic.

— UP UNTIL NOW, U.S. Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer and the White House have been deferential to PELOSI, who controls the floor — and the fate of this agreement. That strategy has, for the most part, worked so far.— PELOSI was getting ready to appoint Democratic negotiators to talk to Lighthizer about their concerns with the agreement — something the White House had been pushing for weeks. Congressional aides were supposed to head to Mexico next week to talk with the government there about trade. Lighthizer and Pelosi seemed to be in agreement that they wouldn’t start the clock until the working groups were formed and the conversations between USTR and Democrats had started…

— LET’S SEE HOW THE MEXICAN GOVERNMENT REACTS to the Trump tariff plan. Until now, they’ve cooperated and played nice with Trump. But they might decide that, for now, the political cost of completing the USMCA with this president is too steep, and the deal should get shelved. Jorge Guajardo, the former Mexican ambassador to China, told us this: “There will be no political will in Mexico to do Trump’s bidding.”

AP tells us…

“López Obrador said late Thursday in a public letter addressed to Trump that ‘social problems are not solved with duties or coercive measures,’ and alluded to the United States’ history as a nation of immigrants: ‘The Statue of Liberty is not an empty symbol.’“López Obrador wrote that Mexico is doing its part to avoid migration through its territory as much as possible, without violating human rights. The Mexican leader also urged Trump to ‘please, remember that I do not lack valor, that I am not a coward nor timorous but rather act according to principles.’”

So I’m guessing that’s a No Deal for talking ’bout USMCA? (And why do I always hear the Village People in my head whenever I type that acronym? Am I the only one?)

So… he’s punishing Americans who will actually pay for his tariffs, thinking he’s punishing Mexico because Mexico is not stopping Central Americans from migrating, and ends up shooting himself in the foot for his stupid NAFTA replacement thingie.

Okay then!

Republished with permission from Mock Paper Scissors

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