Donald Trump’s Mexico Tantrum

January 28, 2017

The Opinion Pages | Editorial

Donald Trump’s Mexico Tantrum

By The Editorial Board–
 Credit Doug Chayka

Less than a week into the job, President Trump on Thursday raised the specter of a trade war with America’s third-largest partner, Mexico, as the White House warned that the United States could impose a 20 percent tariff on Mexican imports.

Image result for Mexican President cancels meeting TrumpI am POTUS, so what? I am POMEX

This absurd threat, issued as a proposal to cover the cost of a border wall, came just hours after President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico canceled a visit to the United States. The visit was supposed to improve the relationship between the two countries, deeply strained by Mr. Trump’s relentless scapegoating of Mexicans during his presidential campaign. But Mr. Peña Nieto decided he’d heard enough after Mr. Trump issued executive orders on Wednesday to begin rounding up unauthorized immigrants and building his border wall.

The tariff tantrum was the latest in a head-spinning torrent of lies, dangerous policy ideas and threats from the White House since Mr. Trump was sworn in last Friday(January 20) . They have underscored just how impulsive and apparently ignorant the new occupant of the Oval Office is of international economic and security relationships that serve American interests. His advisers appear unwilling to rein in his impulses or, as in the case of the tariff, hapless as they struggle to tamp them down.

Image result for build a wall trump

It’s hard to tell whether the animus Mr. Trump has conveyed toward immigrants, particularly Mexicans, is deeply felt, or if he simply came to recognize how powerfully it would appeal to voters disaffected by an uneven economic recovery and the nation’s demographic changes.

But allowing this view to drive trade and foreign policy toward Mexico could have disastrous consequences for workers and consumers in both countries, given how tightly intertwined the two economies have become since the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect in 1994.

Imposing a tariff on Mexico would mean pulling out of NAFTA, a move that would severely disrupt the flow of parts and goods across North America and stall production in factories in the United States and Canada. It also could lead to shortages of fresh vegetables and fruits in American grocery stores and drive up the cost of many other consumer goods from Mexico. Mexico’s economy, which is hugely dependent on American trade, would be devastated. But American businesses and workers would stand to suffer immediate harm as well. Mexico would retaliate with tariffs of its own. And no matter how Congress tried to structure the tariff, which would require legislation, it would probably still violate World Trade Organization rules.

Mr. Trump has pointed to America’s trade deficit with Mexico as a sign that the United States is being swindled. Trade with Mexico — imports to the United States totaled $296 billion in 2015 — benefits America by lowering the cost and increasing the availability of goods, like avocados and mangoes in winter. While the trade deficit with Mexico has resulted in job losses in some industries (possibly about 700,000 jobs in the first 16 years), a 2014 study estimates that 1.9 million American jobs depend on exports to Mexico. And trade, by raising wages and the standard of living in Mexico, is a big reason that illegal immigration from Mexico has dropped steadily over the years.

Sending the Mexican economy into a tailspin is the surest way to reverse that trend, which historically has been driven by market forces, and has never been deterred much by fences or walls. Besides, a tax on Mexican imports would be paid by American consumers and businesses that buy those goods. Americans would pay for the wall, not Mexicans.

14 thoughts on “Donald Trump’s Mexico Tantrum

  1. Ha ha a billionaire POTUS who is out of touch with reality and doesn’t understand economics of globalization and diplomatic relations. All he knows is to stiff the small contractors or person with threats of lawsuits and scare them with his team of lawyers.

  2. The country to start protectionism and a trade war will pay dearly for it.Many or most countries will rally behind the country blacklisted by the aggressor.Donald Trump,a well known cheat,groper in chief and statutory raper will bring the US of A to it’s knees.Donald Trump thinks with his heels and shoots through his backside.

  3. Where was the NYT when thousands youth from the North Americas were over-run by drugs from the South in the 70s and 80s. Many of them are still around today.

  4. White supremacist Trump is attempting to insult and humiliate the brown Mexicans. The wall symbolizes that Mexicans are simply not decent, productive, peaceful people and therefore the fewer of them who enter white America the better.

    Suppose the Canadians were to build a wall to keep Americans out of their country and demanding the Americans pay for it. Might the Americans take justifiable offense at such treatment? Why does anyone imagine that the Mexicans feel any differently?

    What sort of a person seeks to humiliate an entire group of people simply on grounds of race or nationality, by physically fencing them out in the most brutal possible fashion as if they were dangerous wild animals?

    And he is the President of the United States of America. Tsk, tsk, tsk…. The reputation of America is down the drain.

    I remember his idol Ronald Reagan stood in Berlin daring Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. And Donald Trump is building the Mexican Wall. Reagan must be turning in his grave….

    • He has just humiliated the entire Muslim population with his Executive Order. It clearly show his racism and bigotry. Not fit to be POTUS. He thinks the US is Trump Organization. People should call for a boycott of all Trump Hotels and properties.

  5. Semper fi:
    Yes, bro, you’ve given a very good suggestion to boycott all Trump’s hotels. I will pass this to my fellow associates of community activists. May I invite you to get out of your comfort zone to join protest against Trump, if any, in your area. You don’t have to do anything. Just join the number.

    Re Trump’s executive order on immigration from Muslim countries, I certainly agree with you that it is an insult and humiliation to the entire Muslim world. The good news is that there is immediate challenge on its constitutionality. This challenge will take some time. The Supreme Court is still shorthanded, operating with only eight justices since Justice Antonin Scalia’s death last February.

    I’m convinced by now that Donald J. Trump is just another egoistic idiot like George W. Bush. He likes to tell every one he was a graduate from Wharton and how smart he is. So what? Bush was a graduate from Yale. Did they get into those schools by their own efforts and good grades? Did Fred Trump donate a great sum to Wharton and George H.W. Bush to Yale so that their sons could get into those schools? When one is truly smart he doesn’t have to keep trying to convince people how smart he is. People just know.

    I believe Trump’s decision regarding vetted refugees and approved visa holders has Steve Bannon’s fingerprints all over it. He did a very sloppy job and messed it up badly. His goal is to destroy the power and effectiveness of all traditional mainstream sources of influence in Washington D.C., including the Republican party.

    Steve Bannon is in charge of Trump’s “Breitbart agenda”. This includes his most disruptive and anti-Washington actions, which are designed to maintain and solidify his fervent support among the 25% of Americans who are strongly anti-immigrant, anti-Mexican, anti-Muslim, anti-Washington, anti-elite, anti-status-quo and anti-multiculturalism. Steve Bannon routinely makes up his own ‘pseudo-facts” since he rejects real-world facts.

    One of Bannon’s explicit principal priorities has always been to destroy the role and influence of mainstream elites, including both the Republican and Democratic parties. He has previously said this publicly, in many different ways, on several occasions.

    It is Bannon who feeds Trump false Breitbart-style information to boost Trump’s ego, such as all the nonsense about his inauguration crowd size, illegal voters, etc. Trump’s “Breitbart agenda” elicits passionate support from this quarter of the electorate. Bannon schedules daily photo-ops to appeal to these supporters. So Bannon runs the fact-free corner of the White House staff.

    Trump’s decision to add Steve Bannon to the Principals Committee of the National Security Council, while demoting and excluding the Director of National Intelligence that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is obviously intended to remove two sources of real-world facts while adding a forceful source of far-right white nationalist delusions and fantasies based on falsehoods.

    This is precisely what Hitler and Stalin did when they built their respective dictatorships on massive propaganda campaigns that promoted extremist fantasies, while excluding real-world facts.

    • I am actively involved in several programs foremost is “indivisible” by ACLU and a few others by lesser known organizations. Doing my part to rid the US of this evil being.

      Btw it’s not just Trump Hotels, it should also include Trump GOlf Courses and the many Trump buildings. The boycott will hurt his business bad and he will realize his follies. The boycott not only to patronize but also not to work for his organizations. I am sure he has many Hispanic employees and contractors. They should find alternative employment or contracts.

      The Muslim countries in the Middle East should cease to do business or patronize Trump businesses. There are many other luxury hotels that they can patronize. The Organization of Islamic Countries should take the lead and stop issuing tepid statements. This is not a war against the US but against Trump personally.

  6. Glad to hear your active participation, brother Semper fi. We are two very silly old man. But this is a small way we can do to give back so little to our beloved adopted country which has given us so much. I never forgot when I first arrived I was so desperate and so poor, and so many people had helped me out.

    Thank you for your compliment, little brother Conrad. Hope you will do the same for our motherland. Do not despair when the odds are against you. Just keep your vision for a brighter tomorrow and do your part. I never forgot the story my mother told me when I was a little child, about the silly Chinese old man who was digging and chipping to remove a mountain. When people laughed at him of trying to do an impossible task, he shrugged and said: “I may not succeed, but my sons, my grandsons, my great grandsons and my great great grandsons… may one day succeed to remove this mountain.”

    • “Home is not where my grandfather is buried but where my grandchildren will grow up” quote from the late Dr Maher Hathout, Chairman of MPAC .

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