Well, this doesn’t come as a surprise. Hoping to keep the borders open and fend off the Trump tariff’s on Mexican imports, Mexico’s President Lopez-Obrador (AMLO) enlists the help from Tom Donohue and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s president and the top U.S. business lobbying group called on President Donald Trump to back down from a threat to impose punitive tariffs on Mexican imports, in a dispute over migration that could shock Mexico’s economy.
[…] The ultimatum from Trump is the biggest foreign policy test to date for Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and a tall order for Mexican security forces struggling not only to combat migrant flows but also to fight a record level of gang violence and homicide.
Mexico’s economy, which is heavily reliant on exports to the United States, shrank in the first quarter and would reel under U.S. tariffs that could reach as high as 25% this year under Trump’s plan.
The influential U.S. Chamber of Commerce is looking at ways to challenge Trump’s tariff move against Mexico, including legal options. “We have no choice but to pursue every option available to push back,” Neil Bradley, the business group’s executive vice president and chief policy officer, told reporters. (read more)
On a positive note AMLO is not counting on Jesus Seade to bridge the diplomatic gap; that implies he recognizes he cannot influence President Trump based on personal affiliations. Apparently AMLO is sending Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard to lead the “negotiating” next week.
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said he started negotiating with officials in Washington on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened tariffs on imports of Mexican products but face-to-face talks will not happen until next week.
Ebrard said on Twitter that he had spoken to senior White House adviser Jared Kushner and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo by phone, and that there was a willingness to resolve the dispute.
“The negotiations have started,” Ebrard said before boarding a plane to Washington. “I heard interest and respect about the letter from President Lopez Obrador. We are moving forward.”
However, Ebrard said in-person talks would not take place until Wednesday in Washington, and that Pompeo would lead the U.S. delegation. Ebrard will be accompanied by deputy foreign minister for North America, Jesus Seade, a veteran trade negotiator. (read more)
I wouldn’t put too much faith in media statements about Mnuchin and Lighthizer being opposed to the tariffs beyond normal disagreements that would take place inside group debate by advisors. Factually, I would fully expect Lighthizer to be adverse to the Mexico tariffs because he is appropriately protecting his work product, the USMCA.
However, as with the history of President Trump, he is looking at a bigger picture than all of the individual advisors on their specific area of responsibility; and ultimately it will be President Trump who makes the decisions.
Bottom line, the goal is to stop the insanity at the southern border and CTH fully supports any and all measures President Trump might take to deal with it.
Peter Navarro, assistant to the president and director for the White House Trade and Manufacturing Council, to discusses President Trump’s calls for Mexico to stop illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border: