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Trump's Tariff Threats Pay Off as Jolted Mexican Pres. Suddenly Wants To Play Nice

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Tariffs are generally bad things as economic policy.

As a tool of diplomacy, though, they can indeed be useful.

A case in point would be the current spat between the Trump administration and the government of Mexico, which now seems a lot more willing to play nice over illegal immigration.

The proposed tariffs would have started on June 10 with a 5 percent tax on any imports from Mexico.

This would increase by 5 percent each month to 25 percent by October if Mexico didn’t take additional steps to stop the flow of people making it to our southern border.

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“People have been saying for years that we should talk to Mexico. The problem is that Mexico is an ‘abuser’ of the United States, taking but never giving. It has been this way for decades,” Trump wrote in a Twitter post on Sunday.

“Either they stop the invasion of our Country by Drug Dealers, Cartels, Human Traffickers, Coyotes and Illegal Immigrants, which they can do very easily, or our many companies and jobs that have been foolishly allowed to move South of the Border, will be brought back into the United States through taxation (Tariffs). America has had enough!”

That, at least, seems to have gotten the attention of Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

“Mexico’s president on Saturday hinted his country could tighten migration controls to defuse U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on Mexican goods, and said he expected ‘good results’ from talks planned in Washington next week,” Reuters reported last week.

“In a news conference in the Gulf of Mexico port of Veracruz, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Mexico could be ready to step up measures to contain a recent surge in migration in order to reach a deal with the United States.”

According to Reuters, Lopez Obrador said he expected the meeting to be productive.

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“The main thing is to inform about what we’re already doing on the migration issue, and if it’s necessary to reinforce these measures without violating human rights, we could be prepared to reach that deal,” he said.

Jesus Seade, the Mexican deputy foreign minister for North America, had previously told Reuters that the Mexican president was willing to work with the Trump administration on immigration.

Lopez Obrador, a longtime fixture on Mexico’s left, said he is hoping to avoid a trade war.

“We’re doing all we can to reach a deal through dialogue,” he said, according to Reuters.

“We’re not going to get into a trade war, a war of tariffs and of taxes.”

However, he did say he had a “plan” if the tariff went into effect.

Again, tariffs for the purpose of protectionism aren’t good things. All they will do is make things more expensive for Americans.

However, as a tool to influence policy, they can be helpful.

Mexico’s efforts to stop illegal immigration have been sorely lacking on almost every level for years. This is especially true now as caravans of individuals travel through the country on their way to the United States.

Given the border crisis, it’s clear that something needs to be done. We can’t handle everything.

If Mexico wants to be our ally, they need to do more — and they need to do it now.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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