Saturday, June 01, 2019

What's going on in Mexico?

President Trump announced some new tariffs on Mexico.  This is from the AP:
In a surprise announcement that could derail a major trade deal, President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he is slapping a 5% tariff on all Mexican imports, effective June 10, to pressure the country to do more to crack down on the surge of Central American migrants trying to cross the U.S. border.
He said the percentage will gradually increase — up to 25% — “until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied.”
The decision showed the administration going to new lengths, and looking for new levers, to pressure Mexico to take action — even if those risk upending other policy priorities, like the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a trade deal that is the cornerstone of Trump’s legislative agenda and seen as beneficial to his reelection effort. It also risks further damaging the already strained relationship between the U.S. and Mexico, two countries whose economics are deeply intertwined.
Yes, I was surprised with President Trump’s decision.  At the same time, maybe President Trump knows that something is happening south of the border.
A few days ago, I had a conversation with a Mexican journalist.  I asked her a couple of questions:
1. Why is Mexico allowing caravans through the southern border?
2. How are Mexicans reacting to these people walking through their country?
Her answers were interesting in light of the tariffs.
She said that Mexico is different now with respect to people walking through it.  She remembers a time not long ago when Mexico would have sealed the border.
Also, she confirmed that most Mexicans are not happy with people entering their country from Africa, Asia, Central America, etc.
So why is President L√≥pez-Obrador reversing Mexico’s tough stance on illegal immigration, making Mexicans unhappy?
No one has a logical answer.  In the meantime, the border is getting worse by the minute.  Maybe President Trump’s action will send the necessary message!
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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