Friday, May 31, 2019

The Problem with Tariffs as a Weapon

For those of you that missed the news, President Trump announced (via tweet - which his handlers quickly converted to a real document) that he was going to introduce tariffs on June 10th (1 week from Monday) against all Mexican imports until they *STOP* all immigrants coming into the USA.

Tariffs as Weapons - Bad (image from Getty)

Now the "official" release changed *STOP* to "alleviate"* which gives a bit of wiggle room, but the general tone is still there.

What could be wrong with that? Well, I'll tell you.

  1. It is against US Laws. The United States allows for tariffs to be raised by the President only for  a: National Emergencies when protecting US key industries. That is how the President put tariffs on steel and aluminum. Or b: in retaliation. He put them on China for unfair trade practices. Not because he is having a hissy fit.
  2. It is contrary to the International Agreements we wrote and signed. It is against NAFTA (still in place), it is contrary to USMCA (which is proposed), it is against the World Trade rules (which we wrote and signed.
  3. Lifting of these requires Mexico to aid and abet us in breaking International Laws regarding people fleeing violence and asylum laws.
As I said when he screwed the pooch with the Iranians and broke the Iran Treaty. The United States has great clout and power because we choose not to exercise it. This has kept us as the world's currency broker and allowed us to run deficits so easily.

BUT, if you keep screwing others over, you lose not only the reputation, but the consequential perks that go along with being an honest broker.

* Full line in statement: If the illegal migration crisis is alleviated through effective actions taken by Mexico, to be determined in our sole discretion and judgment, the Tariffs will be removed.

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What is too much Taylor Swift

 This much ... when the singer is used to send a message about POSSIBLE future problems?