President Trump Announces New Tariffs, This Time on Mexico
Yesterday May 30, 2019 President Trump announced “the United States will impose a 5 percent Tariff on all goods imported from Mexico” beginning on June 10, 2019 (1). The President made this decision as a ploy for Mexico to take “action to dramatically reduce or eliminate the number of illegal aliens crossing its territory into the United States” (1). If Mexico is unable to reduce the number of illegal crossings, “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” (1). The announcement has received criticisms from both sides of the aisle, with Republican Senator Chuck Grassley saying, “[t]his is a misuse of presidential tariff authority and counter to congressional intent… [and will ultimately] only encourage illegal immigration and [not] help the U.S. economy” (2). Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador responded to the tariff in a public letter last night, replying, “Le propongo profundizar en el diálogo, buscar alternativas de fondo al problema migratorio y, por favor, recuerde que no me falta valor, que no soy cobarde ni timorato sino que actúo por principios: creo en la política que, entre otras cosas, se inventó para evitar la confrontación y la guerra”; translated to English meaning “I propose to deepen the dialogue, look for alternatives to the immigration problem and, please, remember that I do not lack courage, that I am not cowardly or timid, but that I act on principles: I believe in the policy that, among other things, were invented to avoid confrontation and war” (3). President Trump continued to defend his decision on Twitter this morning stating, “Mexico has taken advantage of the United States for decades… Time for them to finally do what must be done” (4).