Why Trump may regret picking a tariff fight with Mexico — even if he wins

Donald Trump won the first round of his standoff with Mexico over immigration policies. Despite heavy opposition to his use of tariffs as leverage on immigration policies, even from his own party, the move worked. Trump gained at least some short-term concessions that could improve matters on the border. But will that translate into a lasting victory at the southern border – and will it boost his chances at re-election next year?

First, Trump might have to convince people that he actually won the first round. Americans have long experience with politicians who spin every development, no matter how damaging, into victories. The president has more of a reputation than most others in national politics for bragging and self-promotion, which makes it even more difficult to overcome skepticism.

Skepticism is a wise starting position in any event, but is it warranted here? The New York Times ran a lengthy analysis on Saturday that declared that Mexico hadn’t agreed to anything new. The government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador had already agreed to increase its security presence on its own southern border in March, the Times reported, and an earlier agreement — already touted by the Trump administration in December — committed Mexico to holding more of the asylum seekers on their side of the border. Butthe Times report later notes significant additional concessions by Mexico. They had to significantly increase their numbers on the southern border to 6,000 troops — and had to actually deploy them in force, which hadn’t begun until Trump threatened to apply tariffs. The López Obrador government also agreed to “accelerate” the protocols that held asylum seekers in Mexico, as well as expand them, in order to keep more of them from entering the U.S.

The Washington Post offered a more positive view of the agreement. …read more

Source:: The Week – Politics


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