Members of a US-bound migrant caravan stand on a road after federal police briefly blocked their way outside the town of Arriaga, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Hundreds of Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields had blocked the caravan from advancing toward the United States, after several thousand of the migrants turned down the chance to apply for refugee status and obtain a Mexican offer of benefits. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

 

Last Friday, President Trump announced he planned to slap Mexico with tariffs.

While Trump makes a brief mention about the auto industry, his real focus is on forcing the Mexican government to take a stronger stance in preventing illegal immigration into the US from that country. While standing alongside lameduck British Prime Minister Theresa May, Trump said: “Mexico shouldn’t allow millions of people to try and enter our country, and they could stop it very quickly and I think they will. And if they won’t, we’re going to put tariffs on. And every month those tariffs go from 5 percent to 10 percent to 15 percent to 20 and then to 25 percent.”

In fact, Trump’s trade adviser, Peter Navarro, says the administration has three goals in imposing tariffs:

In the interview with Sciutto, Navarro outlined three demands he wants Mexico to meet in order to prevent a 5% tariff on Mexican imports to the US from going into effect next week.
“They can commit to taking all the asylum seekers and then applying Mexican laws, which are much stronger than ours,” Navarro said. “That’s number one on my list.”
Navarro said he wants to see “a strong commitment from the Mexican government” to put resources on the country’s southern border, where he said it was much easier to control the flow of immigrants coming up from Central American countries. He added that America was likely to “help (Mexico) in any way possible,” with that effort.
The trade adviser said the third thing he wants to see Mexico do is stop the “corruption” he says exists in the country that makes it hard for Mexico to manage checkpoints that migrants pass through before arriving at the US border.

 

We’ve got over 100,000 illegal immigrants at any given day now, moving up on that conveyor belt. This illegal immigration imposes billions of dollars of costs on the American economy and society.

This has created a near revolt in the Senate.

Defiant Republican senators warned Trump administration officials Tuesday they were prepared to block the president’s effort to impose tariffs on Mexican imports, threatening to assemble a veto-proof majority to mount their most direct confrontation with the president since he took office.

During a closed-door lunch on Capitol Hill, at least a half-dozen senators spoke in opposition to the tariffs President Trump intends to levy next week in an attempt to force Mexico to limit Central American migration to the United States. No senator spoke in support, according to multiple people present who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private meeting.

The lawmakers told officials from the White House and Justice Department they probably had the Senate votes they needed to take action on the tariffs, even if that meant overriding a veto.

Maybe.

But I doubt it.

Why, you ask? Because even if senators didn’t speak in support according to “multiple people present” at least one is speaking out publicly.

I think it is safe to say that if Marco Rubio is supportive of the objective of the tariff, that the votes do not exist to override any veto by President Trump.

How this will play out is anyone’s guess. Ideally, President Obrador will take the action that Mezico should have taken some decades ago and establish positive control of its southern border and assist the US in controlling the US-Mexico border. I don’t know that it has the ability to that. Just this week, the Mexican government admitted that about 80% of its populated area is either controlled by drug cartels or they are actively contesting government control.

If Obrador can’t control the situation, despite all the whining about US consumers paying for the tariffs, there will be major economic pain and dislocation in Mexico which is not going to help matters. But we are at a point where we know continuing to do what we were doing is not only not working, it is making us look foolish. If people like Rubio are saying, “what the hell, what have we got to lose?” then you know the situation is serious and dire.

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