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US to Enact Tariffs on Mexico Imports

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

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Late last week, President Donald J. Trump announced that starting June 10, a 5% tariff would be applied to all goods being imported from Mexico. These tariffs are a way of addressing the “emergency at the Southern Border,” according to the statement from the president.

If what the administration has dubbed the illegal immigration crisis is lessened via action taken by Mexico, the tariffs will be rolled back. If conditions persist, the tariffs will be raised to 10% July 1, then 15% Aug. 1, 20% Sept. 1 and finally 25% Oct. 1. The 25% tariff will remain at that level permanently if Mexico does not take action.

Tariffs in Action

In March 2018, Trump imposed tariffs to affect steel and aluminum imports from other countries across the globe, including China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union. The assigned duties were 25% on steel products and 10% on aluminum.

Companies that felt they needed to use steel or aluminum from another country—because that particular product wasn’t made in the U.S., for example—had the opportunity to apply for an exemption.

lucky-photographer / Getty Images

Late last week, President Donald J. Trump announced that starting June 10, a 5% tariff would be applied to all goods being imported from Mexico. These tariffs are a way of addressing the “emergency at the Southern Border,” according to the statement from the president.

By June, the U.S. allowed the tariffs to go into effect for Canada, Mexico and the European Union, after months of discussion of possible exemptions. The U.S. Department of Commerce also announced the first round of exemptions, while noting that it would be investigating whether some companies in the market were taking advantage of the duties and raising prices unduly.

Last month, as Trump continued work on updating the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, Steel Dynamics CEO Mark Millett went on the record to say he believed a quota system would replace the current tariffs that the steel and aluminum industry were subjected to. Weeks later, Trump announced that the U.S. would be lifting steel and aluminum tariffs imposed on Canada and Mexico in exchange for a new monitoring and enforcement system that will prevent import surges into the U.S.

Recent Announcement

Last year, Mexico was the second largest provider of goods to the U.S.; imports totaled $346.5 billion. This number was up 10.3% ($32.3 billion) from 2017.

“We have confidence that Mexico can and will act swiftly to help the United States stop this long-term, dangerous, and deeply unfair problem,” the statement reads.

“The United States has been very good to Mexico for many years. We are now asking that Mexico immediately do its fair share to stop the use of its territory as a conduit for illegal immigration into our country.”

Though Trump emphasized that the effectiveness of actions taken by Mexico would be at the discretion of The White House, he did not provide parameters or goals to meet these demands.

Early Monday (June 3), Martha Barcena, Mexico’s ambassador to the U.S., amongst other officials, warned against imposing the tariffs.

According to USA Today, the Mexican government previously called for the U.S. to help with initiatives in Central America and southern Mexico—areas where a number of illegal immigrants are coming from—aimed at alleviating poverty in these areas. Mexico has already also made efforts to deal with the issue, according to Barcena, which has resulted in more than 80,000 migrants being returned to their home countries.


Tagged categories: Enforcement; Government; NA; North America; President Trump; Program/Project Management

Comment from Lou Lyras, (6/4/2019, 3:23 AM)

Trade is a very complicated and cannot be described in one paragraph (or 268 characters). Exacting a 5% tariff on Mexico for immigration issues when we are negotiating a new trade agreement makes no sense. But getting back to problem of immigration that precipitated the 5% tariff, our country needs migrants and the labor they provide, many who are already working in our country - albeit illegally. We need laws that will end the illegal labor market and make the undocumented worker work openly and pay taxes. Then we need to enforce laws to prosecute the contractors who exploit the use of undocumented labor to unfairly lower prices.

Comment from Michael Halliwell, (6/4/2019, 11:19 AM)

Trump's trade policies just make me shake my head. As you said, Lou, the US is negotiating a trade deal with Canada and Mexico and it trying to get Canada to buy US military hardware (fighter aircraft)...but then throws punishing tariffs at these same, long-term trade partners. He also praises the extended good relations and close ties between the countries while saying that both Canada and Mexico have been unfairly plundering the US for a long time. With Congress wanting changes, Trump wanting more concessions and a likely change in the Canadian gov't in October, I don't think the USMCA is going very far forward anytime soon. With Trump and the recent complaints about Canada's military purchasing requirements, I'm also at the point of thinking the Saab Gripen /Griffon, though not as advanced as the F-35, might be the best alternative (in terms of cost per unit, maintenance costs, corrosion issues and local economic stimulus) for the replacement of Canada's aging fleet of CF-18 jets.

Comment from john lienert, (6/5/2019, 6:52 AM)

the "green card program" worked just fine in Ca, before chaves ruined it

Comment from T W, (6/5/2019, 9:06 AM)

There's a simple solution to all this.

Comment from Gilles Bussieres, (6/8/2019, 3:06 PM)

I thought this was a website regarding our Industrial Painting Trade and not a political whining story a President that ultimate goal is to take care of the Country that he love so much......I I want to know about politic I know whereto find plenty of media for it but it should stay out of this trade organization. Make America Great Again

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