Was Mexico Punked by Donald Trump?
When asked by FOX Laura Ingraham with the backdrop of hundreds of brave soldier’s graves last week, if Mexico is a U.S. ally President Trump balks. The POTUS accuses Mexico of stealing 32% our auto-manufacturing business and says – “we don’t need them.”
By James DiGeorgia
There’s a very memorable scene in Mel Brook’s classic film comedy Blazing Saddles where Cleavon Little. He plays the part of a newly appointed black sheriff to a 19th century western U.S. cowboy stop over where everyone has the last name, Johnson. The new Sheriff is greeted by the town’s population with guns drawn as they realize the governor has responded to their pleas for help has sent them black sheriff.
The new Sheriff realizes on arrival he’s about to be murdered and to escape death he punks the town by
pulling his gun and putting to his temple and begins to threaten to kill the new sheriff (himself). The town folks get so thrown off by the stunt, and the Sheriff threatening to kill the Sheriff, he’s able to escape into the town’s jail.
I’m reminded of this movie scene by President Trump’s threat to raise tariffs on Mexican imports to 25%. While I won’t minimize the economic dislocation to Mexico from such onerous tariffs, the fact remains that American companies and its citizens will bear the financial burden of the tariffs.
President Trump threatened to impose new taxation of up to 25%, by imposing 5% cumulatively over the next five months by fiat, not by an act of Congress on U.S. businesses and its citizens, doesn’t seem very Republican. Mexico negotiated a deal with Trump, instead of letting the President go ahead and impose his tariffs/taxes on American business and consumers, even after the President accused Mexico of stealing 32% of the U.S. auto manufacturing business and putting into question whether Mexico is an ally or an enemy?
The Deal Reached With Mexico Was Negotiated Over a Month Ago and Kills the Need to Spend Tens of Billions on a Wall on the Southern Border of the U.S.
The deal reached with Mexico and the United States at the State Department in Washington D.C this past Friday raises a very interesting question?
If the Mexican’s could have shut down its Southern border to Central American refugees during the last two years, why didn’t the President try offering some much cheaper carrots to incentivize Mexico stem the refugee crises instead of declaring a national emergency and stealing the money from other defense programs to build a border wall?
Another question, why did Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador allow himself and his country look as if it was being extorted into obeying President Trump? When it is clear if he just called Trump’s bluff a wave of red state Senators and Congressmen had already made it clear they were willing to break with President Trump on the threatened tariffs to protect their chances of re-election in 2020?
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador isn’t a dictator. He doesn’t have the power President Xi has in China. Obrador may believe that tariffs would trigger even a modest economic recession and they could destabilize Mexico, triggering a political upheaval.
Mexico is dealing with a maze of criminal organizations and gangs that are gradually threatening its state, local, and national government ability to guarantee the safety of its citizenry. President Obrador may be worried that a sudden economic downdraft could drive the Mexican people away from its long fought for democracy, and choose to move back towards the more traditional one-party authoritarian, Kleptocratic, nationalist government that had existed in Mexico for simply the promise of a stronger and much safer Mexico.
President Obrador has allowed the appearance that he succumbed to President Trump extortion and now is his bitch.
Trump will use the Mexican president’s capitulation to now threaten countries around the world with punitive tariffs against U.S. businesses and citizens as a tactic in trying to get the upper hand in trade around the world. Post World War I history proves the danger of forcing trade agreements that are unfair to weaker nations on them. The Treaty of Versailles re-drew the world map, forced reparation payments and trade policies that led to the Second World War and 70 million deaths.
Was Mexico being punked by Trump? Yes.
Did Trump use as hostages? Yes.
Will Trump be able to punk China, the European Union, and the rest of the world threatening to raise tariffs that will hurt American businesses and citizens? No, not after seeing how Mexico’s President Obrador was bluffed and punked by Trump. Dangerous times ahead.