Incomprehensible: Thursday, President Trump announced 5% tariffs on products from Mexico beginning June 10, which will rise 5% each month until they hit 25% in October.
The idea behind this extortion _ er, strategic policy decision _ is to make Americans pay more for all the products we buy from our southern neighbor in order to pressure Mexico into stemming the migrant crisis at the border.
Don’t understand the logic? Neither do we.
Last year, the U.S. imported $346 billion in goods from Mexico. A 5% tariff will cost consumers over $17 billion a year; by the time tariffs hit 25%, consumers could be burned to the tune of $100 billion.
Want to buy a car or truck built there _ say, a Ford Fusion or Nissan Sentra or Dodge Ram? If its sticker price is $40,000, that’ll cost you an extra $1,500 as of the summer, an extra $7,500 by the fall.
Do you eat food? We thought so. Prepare to pay more for blackberries (95% of which are from Mexico), tomatoes (60% from Mexico), and asparagus (75% from Mexico) consumed in the United States come from Mexico.
Not to mention avocados. Oh yeah, those.
If the tariffs don’t change consumption habits, U.S. consumers are stuck with an onerous tax. If they do change those habits, thus hurting the Mexican economy? Expect more people crossing the southern border.
All of this is happening, mind you, as Trump is pressing Congress to approve his NAFTA replacement treaty, which he calls “the most important trade deal we’ve ever made, by far.”
As we said: Incomprehensible.