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Saturday, June 08, 2019

Trump's Mexican tariff rope-a-doped critics



President Donald John Trump once again roped the dopes in the media with his Mexican tariffs.

Like Wile E. Coyote thumbing through the Acme catalog, they knew better but gave into their worst impulses.

To be sure, President Trump was deadly serious about the imposition of tariffs.

But he also knew he would not have to.

President Trump had the battle won the instant he tweeted tariff. The Mexican government did not bother putting up a fight. The words were kind and diplomatic, and the capitulation was swift and painless.

The government seized the money of human traffickers, sent thousands of its National Guardsmen to its southern border, and agreed to stop the caravans.

That was one success.

The other success was that in the wake of the stock market's indigestion over tariffs, the Federal Reserve lost its appetite for raising interest rates, much to the president's delight.

But the political side also had a success as President Trump watched his critics throw their grenades -- into telephone wires that shot the grenades right back at them.

National Review's editors huffed and puffed, "The president here is unnecessarily complicating his own life. He has just overseen the successful renegotiation of NAFTA, which will be reconstituted as the U.S.–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA). But that agreement has not yet been ratified — not by the United States, and not by Mexico. Imposing punitive tariffs over a policy dispute unrelated to trade five minutes after negotiating a new trade pact makes the Trump administration — and the United States — look like an unreliable negotiating partner. Mexico is not wrong to resent it, and even Trump allies such as Senator Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) are against him on this.

"Also, it’s a good rule of thumb to fight one trade war at a time. If the administration, correctly, wants to focus on China’s malign trade practices — and not just during the current dispute but over the long term — it needs good trading relationships with its allies, especially here in North America."

Who knew there was a rule of thumb on trade wars?

You just hold up your thumb and contemplate how many trade wars you can have simultaneously.

Well, having won this trade war, President Trump is back to just one trade war. Whew.

Jeff Spross is the economics and business correspondent at TheWeek.com.

He wrote on June 1, "President Trump is a self-described tariff man. But for a while now, he's been dogged by criticisms that he doesn't actually understand how his favorite tool for international economic arm-twisting really works.

"This week, Trump apparently decided to prove his critics right: He launched a whole new tariff threat against Mexico, not to curb any trade shenanigans, but to stem northward flow of undocumented immigrants. Specifically, Trump threatened to impose a tariff of 5 percent on all Mexican imports into the U.S., starting June 10. Each month after that, the tariffs will ratchet up another 5 percent, finally topping out at 25 percent in October. And there they will stay, according to the White House, 'until Mexico substantially stops the illegal inflow of aliens coming through its territory.' It's basically the equivalent of using a hammer to try to turn a lugnut."

And yet the lugnut came off.

Son of a gun.

He toys with his critics. He is the cat. They are the mice. He will never eat them. He will just torture them until he gets bored.

Not since James Polk has a U.S. president received concessions this big from Mexico. President Trump did it without sending in the Marines.

That is proof that tariffs save lives.

34 comments:

  1. The NeverTrumpers were huffing and puffing about how tariffs are evil and Trump is Satan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. President Trump is simply not corrupt. He can do the right thing because nobody owns him. Those other guys aren't stupid, they're corrupt. Republicans want open borders too. It's only President Trump and us voters that want to solve the problem. Review in 90 days. If you have a factory in Mexico watcha gonna do? Get out? Stay? If you stay you're going to call Amlo and tell him don't blow it. Winning!

      Delete
  2. What President Trump needs to do is shut down Western Union money transfers to Central America until those governments get control of their populations.
    Use the money to pay for housing the invaders.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have written him and others to do that, but, IMO, he is using that as his "Trump" card.

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    2. there is no "use the money". WU transfers are not government money. He can stop the transfers but he can't appropriate the funds.

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    3. Actually, big dave, he probably can. These transfers are the fruits of their illegal employment. Federal civil asset forfeiture law:

      The Attorney General is authorized to use the Assets Forfeiture Fund to pay any necessary expenses associated with forfeiture operations such as property seizure, detention, management, forfeiture, and disposal. The Fund may also be used to finance certain general investigative expenses. These authorized uses are enumerated in 28 U.S.C. §524(c).

      https://www.justice.gov/afp/fund

      And those definitions are flexible enough that he and the AG can probably come up with justifications.

      Delete
  3. xlnt point about Polk. a primo potus who solved the Oregon border, brought Texas in, won the Mexican war, and did all that in one term.
    and, when he was speaker of the house, was instrumental in andrew Jackson's destruction on the 2nd us bank.
    that's why Jackson should stay on the $20. he was the last potus to leave office with ZERO national debt. that in itself makes him a huge heroic figure in american history.
    waterman

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  4. btw, Polk announced ahead of time, that, as a compromise candidate, he would not seek re-election. too much work to do, and too much time wasted. so, eschewing parties, receptions, and other social distractions, he basically worked himself to death, dying shortly after leaving office from overwork.
    now, that's a president.
    waterman

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trump is our Good Quality President! That is 100% GOOD NEWS FOR AMERICA!

      Delete
  5. Also, he got two of their “activist” leaders detained and arrested. ANY day an “activist” gets tossed in the pokey is a Good Day for Ich.

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    1. That was huge. The best result. Obrador mentioned the financiers but of course, they were dishing bribes all over. Shutting them down criminally is more than Trump publicly asked, meaning they got their mind right for real.

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  6. I guess Jeff Spross never had a car with knock offs. Probably couldn't have lifted the brass hammer anyway.

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  7. And as we who love our Prez know, the trade war with China is intricately related to our trade wars with Mexico & Canada. To treat them separately would be like playing whackamole.
    .
    Those liars know they are lying they just hope uou are too stupid to know that they lie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are absolutely correct. China is using both Canada and Mexico as a back door into America for their production.

      Delete
  8. Wile E. Coyote abd the ACME catalog????!!!!
    Coffee and nose juice ALL ACROSS MY COMPUTER SCREEN!!!!!
    Thank you Mr. Surber.Another excellent article.

    ReplyDelete
  9. What the NeverTrumpers and "progressives" have never understood is that while,in the long run, tariffs are an economic a negative, there are values other than economic values. "Progressives" wanted tariff's for political gain thinking that they could be used to buy votes. They never address the costs of the tariffs- even among themselves. The "progressives" proposed tariff's are not only negative in economic terms but their benefits accrue to individuals, not the nation. Trumps recent tariff threats towards Mexico were driven by non-economic goals and values, and while they would have had negative economic results, those negatives were outweighed by gains satisfying other, national, values - our borders. Similarly, tariff's aimed against China seek changes in China's behavior. The analysis supporting the tariff's is that, overall, we are better off taking the economic hit than allowing China's behavior to continue. Trump implies that tariffs can be economically good. He has to say that from a negotiating standpoint. I hope his thinking is more that the economic damage of tariffs is a price worth paying in order to further other, long-term, interests. "Progressives" push policies while denying their cost. Adults acknowledged the cost and initiate policies where the benefits out-weigh the costs, even if those benefits are not economic benefits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You may as well say that shooting someone is giving them free lead and copper.

      Delete
    2. Jerry Jay CarrollJune 9, 2019 at 9:10 AM

      I could not agree more. The left historically thinks of individuals as economic units rather than flesh and blood with deeper bonds to land and country than to a five-cent increase in the price of avocados, to mention just one of the most recent dire warnings of the lapdog media.

      Delete
  10. Let’s face it. Trump’s TARIFFIC!

    ReplyDelete
  11. It is odd that so many of our "elites" seem afraid that Trump will replace the deals they made with ones better for America. Whose side are they on?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are getting close to the truth. - Elric

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    2. Whose side are they on?, is a Question that should be asked more often and we should also ask How did that Congressperson become a Millionaire so quick?

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  12. I don't get it.

    The left complained that tariffs are taxes. Democrats LOVE raising taxes. Every one of the dem presidential candidates has a plan that calls for raising taxes.

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    Replies
    1. They also have conniptions over the increased costs of imported goods because of tariffs but completely ignore the increased cost to virtually everything (and increased joblessness) that results from any significant minimum wage increase.

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    2. The NICE thing is that ALL evangelists, pastors and churches alike are worshipping and praising our Good Republican Christian President Donald Trump and Jesus Christ together as several news articles say. This is Good News for America! When you vote, vote for Republican Trump! Trump is the BEST of the BEST in terms of being a President!

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  13. I'm still not tired of WINNING!!!!

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  14. Personally, I love the timing of this. The Sunday show will have to explain how this is not #WINNING...and I shall laugh and laugh and laugh.

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  15. The Rule of Thumb for Trade Wars has been Pre-Emptive Surrender. They were all quite sure President Trump is doing it wrong--yet they had 30 years to get it right...and didn't get it done. Didn't even try, except to make it worse. Even today, you cannot name even one helpful law that Congress would pass. Not a single one. All they can do is criticize the Man in the Arena.

    A Do-Nothing Congress would actually be an improvement over our current National Disgrace Congress.


    Thanks for fighting back, Mr. Prez!

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  16. I don’t consoder this week’s threats and capitulation by Mexico part of a trade war. It is an immigration war.

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  17. So what did economic geniuses Mark Cuban, Mitt Romney, Paul Krugman, AOC and Maxine Waters have to say?

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  18. Mexico knows the corporations are watching, and deciding where to put their low-cost production. Even this brief crisis will motivate some to relocate.

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  19. The Week is an execrable publication. It poses as a middle-of-the-road, reasonable publication but it is anything but. More a wolf in sheep's clothing. I was sorry to see that Ed Morrisey, a reliable journalist, got sucked into writing for it.

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  20. Conservative Tree House has an excellent analysis of the agreement with Mexico and the longer term possibilities for investors in that country. Essentially the CEOs are going to have to put pressure on Mexico to live up to the agreement or the risk assessments will be too negative to continue to invest in Mexico. Read the whole thing: https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/06/08/trump-doctrine-border-and-migration-agreement-with-mexico-likely-to-produce-significant-results/

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  21. The spin is, Trump Caves! Um, yeah after getting all he wants and on the ground, not some vague promise like,say, Iran.

    ReplyDelete