mexico tariffs

US President Trump re-launched the “guns” on Thursday (30th), targeting Mexico in the south, blaming Mexico for preventing illegal immigrants from entering the United States for years, based on the border illegal immigration crisis. The 5% tariff is imposed on all Mexican imports, and if Mexico does not propose a solution, it will add 5% to a total of 25%.

For Mexico, where nearly 80% of its exports are sent to the United States and about 37% of its economic activities depend on exports, this cannon is really unbearable.

The “US-Merica Agreement” turned into nothing?

After the longest government shutdown in history, Trump used the president’s administrative power to declare a state of emergency on the illegal immigration issue on the US-Mexico border. Although the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and the Republican-controlled Senate both passed the resolution to revoke the state of emergency, they were vetoed by Trump.

In the beginning, Trump only used the state of emergency to order the use of funds from other federal governments for the construction of the wall. These practices have been extremely controversial—the practice of bypassing Congress’s use of federal government spending, which was immediately banned by local federal courts last week, accusing Trump of violating the fundamental constitutional norms of “separation of powers and balances”— 岂Trump “has the right to use up” to combine the state of emergency with the president’s power to increase tariffs. Trade threatens Mexico to solve the problem of illegal immigration.

Trump’s tariff gunfire is more likely to meet Vice President Mike Pence and travel to Ottawa to promote the USMCA’s three countries with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Congress implemented the process to replace the original North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

After the signing of the US-Mexican Agreement last year, it has not been implemented, and it is almost dead. Now, its prospect of advancement is all re-ignited because the United States finally decided to withdraw the tariff on steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico this month. Now Trump suddenly increased the tariff on ink, and the rare progress of the three-nation free trade agreement turned into an empty eye, showing the confusion of the Trump government policy objectives.

Congress should take back the tariffs that the president “borrowed”

Trump increased tariffs this time, mainly based on the International Emergency Economic Powers Act passed in 1977. According to this law, the President has the right to declare the existence of “special threats” to the US “defense, foreign policy or economy” and use this as a basis for “regulating or prohibiting” a variety of external transactions.

However, Article 1(8) of the US Constitution actually states that “Congress has the power to stipulate and levy an income tax, indirect tax, customs duty, and domestic tax”, and the tariff right is placed in the hands of the Congress. The President’s extremely extensive tariff power can be said today. It was borrowed from Congress.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, the president’s power to levy tariffs has continued to expand. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Congress passed a very high protectionist tariff, resulting in an economic downturn in the global trade war, allowing the president to seize the power of tariffs from the Congress, to be more confident.

The International Emergency Economic Power Law, which Trump relied on, was one of the “results of power grabbing”; in addition, the Trade Act of 1974, on which the United States relied on additional tariffs on China, was another example.

However, since the president’s decision to redistribute tariffs is based on the lessons of Congress’s chasing tariffs during the Great Depression, Trump’s protectionist tariffs and tariffs threaten foreign policy today, which in turn is a re-examination of the president’s policy. Whether there is an opportunity to retain this power.

Although the current US Congressional political circles seem to have a consensus that “the trade war against China has already started, it is better to continue to produce results.” However, such a temporary situation will definitely not cover the scourge of the president’s tariff increase. If Mexico The tariff of imported goods will increase by 25%, which will be a major blow to the North American economy, dragging down the economic integration of more than 30 years.

No country can “be alone”

At the international political level, Trump’s various tariff wars are even more urgent. Trump’s original steel-aluminum tariffs, tariffs on China, and tariff threats to the EU and Japan theoretically only trade negotiation strategies. They use the power of the US market to increase the bargaining power of the US in negotiations, at least “trade.” “”.

However, this time the tariff imposed on Mexico is based on trade as a bargaining chip to threaten other countries to “really help” the United States to solve its domestic problems, and its nature is very different from other additional tariff policies. If this law is feasible, it is difficult to ensure that Trump (or the future president) will not turn “special cases” into “conventions” and use tariffs to reach various international political and even domestic political goals.

For Trump’s various customs wars since last year, the obvious countermeasures of the world’s countries have only two measures: one is the retaliatory tariff of “you add me and the other”; the other is that “export technology” accuses the US tariff policy of being unreasonable and affecting the world. The economy, even seeking a ruling from the World Trade Organization (WTO).

These tricks are not ineffective, but the premise behind it is that Trump’s tariff war is just a dispute between the United States and a particular country, not a challenge to global justice. This kind of presupposition is exactly what Trump wants to see. The reason why the right-wing of the United States has always advocated the departure from the global order of multilateralism is that the United States can use its one-way strength to exert pressure on individual countries to achieve maximum results. The decentralized response measures of these individual countries can be described as the United States.

In fact, the countermeasure against the operation of Trump’s unilateralism is to remove the tendency of “the snow in front of each sweeping door”. Even if the tariff is not imposed on oneself, it must stand with the country that suffers unreasonable treatment. Respond to action.

At the end of last month, the WTO members of the European Union, Canada, China, Mexico, Turkey, Australia and other countries, under the opposition of the United States, unanimously agreed to accept the WTO’s first clear definition of the “national security” trade standard exemption, which will make the United States Guoan lost its legal basis for increased tariffs.

Although this is only a small step in the joint response of all countries, it is the right direction anyway – no country can be alone. Democrat politicians who are accustomed to shouting “The United States will return to normal” should also take the initiative to initiate various kinds of laws to recover the president’s tariff power and push the world order back into the framework of multilateralism.

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