President Trump’s Latest Tariffs on Mexico

President Trump’s Latest Tariffs

International Emergency Economic Powers Act


President Trump is proposing to use the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to impose tariffs of 5% growing to 25% on Mexico to deter illegal immigration from Central America. This will hurt our economy, and Mexico’s economy because we are each others largest trading partners. Citizens and businesses in Texas and California will be particularly badly hurt by the tariffs. The impacts will be felt on prices in the supermarket, the price of cars and many other consumer goods.


The Act dates back to 1977 and is typically used to confiscate the goods or block economic transactions of persons or nations constituting a national security threat to the US. It was used for example to go after terrorist groups, or persons associated Saddam Hussein or Moammar Kadafi or the Iranian and Syrian governments. Recently it was used by President Obama to sanction Russian individuals involved in destabilizing the Ukraine, annexing Crimea and interfering in our Presidential elections.


Mexico is our largest trading partner, a friendly neighbor and a key ally. It strains credulity to see how it would qualify as a national security threat to the US under the IEEPA.


The Mexican government has so far reacted with restraint and met with Trump Administration officials to see how the two governments can work better together to address the humanitarian crises that are driving Central Americans north to seek asylum in Mexico and the US. Senate Republicans are warning the President he has little to no support in their caucus for these tariffs.


It appears to be another instance of the President going off half-cocked with no support from his party and no advance warning for his Cabinet, proclaiming his emergency Presidential powers to address a situation that is neither an emergency nor a national security threat in an economically counter-productive fashion that is roiling businesses and consumers on both sides of the border. Tariffs (sales taxes) imposed by Presidential tweet.


Prepared by: Lucien Wulsin

Dated: 6/4/19







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