It seems President Trump’s tariffs are finally hitting Mexico where it hurts the most, finally getting his point across. The Mexican government unleashed another a deluge of retaliatory tariffs on the US this week, bringing the new total to just shy of $3 billion dollars.
• Our southern neighbors first released their “retaliation list” last month, including a long list of critical agricultural products; many of the current tariffs remain the same, but are being increased for what they perceive as greater effect.
• The vast majority of tariffs are now centered on food products such as pork, potatoes, and whiskey; this week’s announcement also places similar taxes on apples, cranberries, and certain American-created cheeses.
• Mexico has stated that the increased tariffs, which now vary from 15 to 25 percent depending on the product, are a direct response to American pressure on the steel industry. Earlier this year, President Trump removed exemptions on steel tariffs for both Canada and Mexico.
• Mexican leaders have stated that the tariffs will remain in place until the US government changes their position on their own tariffs. Trump has indicated that he has absolutely no plans to dismantle the steel tariffs, meaning both sides could be in for a long fight.
• Carlos Gutierrez, Mexico’s former Secretary of Commerce, cautioned both sides that laying on more and more tariffs wouldn’t fix anything. He calls the current trade war part of a “gun-to-the-head negotiating style,” and believes that Trump’s actions only make it harder to come to an agreement.
• Mexican leaders also indicated that they specifically chose products that don’t affect them domestically, but hit home states of specific leaders in the US the hardest. For example, their decision to target cheese directly affects Wisconsin, House Speaker Paul Ryan’s home state.