Opinion| This is rich.
At 4:30 in the afternoon yesterday, President Trump tweeted his intention to begin imposing tariffs on Mexico until they began doing their part to curb the invasion of illegal aliens crossing through Mexico to reach the United States.
The White House followed with an official statement just minutes later. Below is the important wording that finally got Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s attention:
To address the emergency at the Southern Border, I am invoking the authorities granted to me by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Accordingly, starting on June 10, 2019, the United States will impose a 5 percent Tariff on all goods imported from Mexico. 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. If the crisis persists, however, the Tariffs will be raised to 10 percent on July 1, 2019. Similarly, if Mexico still has not taken action to dramatically reduce or eliminate the number of illegal aliens crossing its territory into the United States, Tariffs will be increased to 15 percent on August 1, 2019, to 20 percent on September 1, 2019, and to 25 percent on October 1, 2019. Tariffs will permanently remain at the 25 percent level unless and until Mexico substantially stops the illegal inflow of aliens coming through its territory. Workers who come to our country through the legal admissions process, including those working on farms, ranches, and in other businesses, will be allowed easy passage.
If Mexico fails to act, Tariffs will remain at the high level, and companies located in Mexico may start moving back to the United States to make their products and goods. Companies that relocate to the United States will not pay the Tariffs or be affected in any way.
President Trump then reaffirmed his America First agenda:
Should Mexico choose not to cooperate on reducing unlawful migration, the sustained imposition of Tariffs will produce a massive return of jobs back to American cities and towns. Remember, our great country has been the “piggy bank” from which everybody wants only to TAKE. The difference is that now we are firmly and forcefully standing up for America’s interests.
Four hours later this article appeared from Reuters:
(Reuters) […] White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, asked in a conference call with reporters which products from Mexico could be affected by the tariffs, said: “All of them.”
Mulvaney added, “This is an urgent problem. We are interested in seeing the Mexican government act tonight, tomorrow.”
Shares in Toyota Motor Corp, Nissan Motor Co and Honda Motor Co all fell around 3% or more, while Mazda Motor Co fell nearly 7%. All four automakers operate vehicle assembly plants in Mexico.
Then… wait for it:
That was quick, though it’s likely the Mexican president had already spent several hours considering his options prior to notifying the press.
Frankly, it’s hard to see what leverage Lopez Obrador will bring to these ‘negotiations.’ And, he’ll have even less after the stock market opens this morning and and companies with business interests in Mexico take a hit.
Lopez Obrador finds himself in a political vice, of his own making;
(From the Daily Caller) […] “And soon, very soon — after the victory of our movement — we will defend all the migrants in the American continent and all the migrants in the world,” Obrador said, adding that immigrants “must leave their towns and find a life in the United States.” He then declared it as “a human right we will defend.”
Last night Trump gave Lopez Obrador two options; either he orders his military to shut off the flow of illegal immigrants or he essentially pays for a wall to be built along the border while watching Mexico’s manufacturing sector move back across the border.
There’s another option; Lopez Obrador implores the U.S. Congress to save him from that embarrassment and finally ante up for the Wall.
More from the White House statement:
Democrats in Congress are fully aware of this horrible situation and yet refuse to help in any way, shape, or form. This is a total dereliction of duty. The migrant crisis is a calamity that must now be solved—and can easily be solved—in Congress. Our broken asylum laws, court system, catch-and-release, visa lottery, chain migration, and many other loopholes can all be promptly corrected. When that happens, the measures being announced today can be more readily reduced or removed.
Are you listening Nancy?