Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Mexico Hits Back With $3 Billion in Tariffs

The foul occupant of the White House is quickly learning that his bullying on international markets will have a cost as Mexico hits backs with $3 billion in tariffs tailored to hit GOP controlled states the hardest.   As in everything else, Trump views everything as a zero sum game and, like a petulant child - or malignant   Mafia boss - insists on having his way and "winning."  With luck, these tariffs imposed by Mexico along with those imposed by Canada will cause significant economic pain in Trump supporting states where his toxic base will get to experience what "winning" feels like. Yes, I do wish these people ill.  They deserve to reap what they have sown.  Iowa in particular needs to suffer for having thrown away its progressive history and embracing racism and religious extremism as embodied by Trump and his policies. Here are highlights from the Washington Post:
Mexico said it would impose import duties on $3 billion worth of U.S. products, including cheese, bourbon, pork and others, making good on its threats that it would retaliate for U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum.
With its presidential election 26 days away, Mexico’s government imposed a 20 percent tariff on U.S. pork, apples and potatoes and 20 to 25 percent tariffs on cheese and bourbon. Mexico tailored the list of retaliatory duties to hit states governed by senior Republicans, such as the bourbon produced in the home state of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.).
Trump is trying to use the threat of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, as well as other goods, to force numerous countries to agree to trade concessions. He’s in standoffs with Mexico, Canada, China, Japan and members of the European Union, the largest U.S. trading partner.
In talks in Beijing over the weekend, China offered to buy close to $70 billion in U.S. agriculture, energy and manufacturing products over a year as part of a package meant to ward off U.S. tariffs, according to a senior administration official who was briefed on the talks. . . . even that amount “would not address the underlying, long-run concerns the United States has with China.”
Those include China’s assistance to state-owned enterprises, investment restrictions on foreign firms, forced technology transfer, industrial policy and the protection of intellectual property.
Even with the weekend’s developments, all the trade talks appear to be moving slowly or stalling, leading to angst on Capitol Hill and among business leaders.
Trump and Kudlow are traveling to Quebec this week for a meeting of leaders from seven of the world’s leading economies, and several of those officials have expressed frustration at Trump for his protectionist approach to trade.
A Canadian government official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss diplomatic relations, said there have long been one-on-one talks as part of the NAFTA negotiations but noted that the trade pact is a three-country agreement and that any resolution would require all three countries to sign on together.

Of course, it will not be just Trump supporting states that suffer.  All of us can expect higher consumer prices, especially for cars and trucks. 

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