The relationship between the US and Mexico has been strained ever since President Donald Trump was elected. Now, things are about to get a whole lot worse as Trump has announced tariffs on all goods coming from Mexico, demanding the country curb illegal immigration into the US. As with most of his declarations, Trump said in a tweet that from June 10th, there will be a 5% tariff would be imposed and this would slowly rise until the illegal immigration problem is solved. Not everyone agrees that this is a good idea.
Mexico’s top diplomat for North America, Jesús Seade, has claimed that the proposed tariffs would be “disastrous”. Despite many people disapproving on Trumps attempts to stump illegal immigration, he has continued to make questionable judgements for a long time. Back in February, Trump declared a national emergency at the US-Mexico border, claiming that it was necessary to tackle the “crisis” at the southern US border. Border agents claim they are simply overwhelmed by the number of people and can’t control it, however, critics say that they are mishandling and mistreating migrants. There is clearly disagreement between a large number of people.
Donald Trump is well known for his accusations against Mexico saying that they aren’t doing enough to stem the flow of people and this tariff is his latest attempt at increasing the pressure on the country to stop the flow of illegal immigrants.
While Mr Seade thinks that Mexico needs to respond vigorously if the tariffs, which are a tax on products made abroad, were initiated, the president of Mexico doesn’t agree. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that he did not want any confrontation with Trump or the US. In a letter, Obrador proposed that him and Trump start talking more and attempt to look for other alternatives to the migration problem rather than keep increasing conflict.
In a statement from the White House, Donald Trump said that he would raise tariffs by 5% each and every month right up until October 1st, when the rate would reach 25%. He goes on to say that the tariff rates would remain at that level of 25% until Mexico significantly reduces the number of illegal aliens coming through its territory. Trump also claims that Mexico has been treating the US unfairly for many years but he wants to stop that and assert the US’ rights as a sovereign nation. In his mind, this seems like a good idea, however, this could backfire on Trump majorly and he’ll be in even more of a sticky situation than before.
This tariff could have a huge impact as according to Goldman Sachs, an investment banking and analyst firm, Mexico was the second largest supplier of goods to the US last year, with imports totalling a whopping $352bn (£275bn). The Central American nation is known for it’s agricultural products like avocados and tequila. It’s not just that though, Mexico is a major manufacturing hub and is home to many US companies and transnational corporations. Firms such as Ford, GM, John Deere, IBM, and Coca-Cola all operate in Mexico.
There could be disastrous effects on both Mexico and the US. There’s not much else to do now apart from wait as it seems as if Trump has made his mind up about the tariffs.