Trump is looking at raising the tariffs on goods out of Mexico, potentially to as high as 25 percent until Mexico agrees to slow the flow of migrants from Central America at the southern border. Currently, tariffs will start at five percent, beginning next week. If the Mexican government does not cooperate, the full 25 percent could be in effect by October.
The problem with the tariffs is two-fold.
Financial Woes for Everyone
Both Mexico and the United States are going to feel the effects of the tariffs. It’s going to be costly for the United States economy because of what flows into the United States from Mexico. Chipotle has even chimed in, warning Americans that tacos are going to be more expensive when the tariffs startup. It’s also going to cause problems with the Mexican economy because, as Americans refuse to pay the tariffs, they’ll stop working with the Mexican companies.
There may be a lot of financial and economic instability with these tariffs. That means that, even if Mexico wanted to help with the flow of immigrants, they wouldn’t have the financial capacity to do so.
One of the main reasons why Trump is creating the tariffs and risking the financial problems is because he hasn’t been able to make as much progress as he would have liked on the 2016 campaign issue.
Now that he’s heading closer to the 2020 reelection race with Democrats aggressively seeking to be to him, he knows that he needs to do something about immigration – and this includes stopping Central American immigrants from entering the United States.
Bigger Immigration Problems
Trump is blaming Mexico for most of the immigrant flow. They have done nothing to prevent Central Americans from flowing through the country to reach the southern U.S. border.
Although the Central Americans are asking for asylum, they are waiting until they reach the United States – only a small percentage are requesting asylum in Mexico.
The Mexican government has said that they are open to granting asylum, though many people see Mexico as just as dangerous as the countries that they are currently fleeing.
Mexico has identified that they are doing what they can, with the means that they have, to deal with the problem. This includes sending over 80,000 migrants back to their origin country, which includes Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
They also are on track to grant asylum to approximately 60,000 migrants.
Marcelo Ebrard, the Mexican Foreign Minister, is arguing a cooperative solution with the United States as well as a number of international partners.
The migration out of Central America is becoming a problem for everyone, mainly due to the lack of jobs and the high rate of gang violence.
Ebrard is hopeful that they can strike a deal with the United States. However, it is clear that they are going to limit what they can negotiate.
He has rejected being the safe third country asylum, which means that migrants would have to seek asylum in Mexico prior to seeking asylum in the United States.
If Trump moves forward with higher tariffs, it’s going to weaken Mexico considerably.
This would leave the United States economy with a weak neighbor, making it that much more difficult for them to ward off the Central American migrants that are knocking on the southern border of the United States.
Mexico is suggesting that they work closely with the United States and Canada in order to implement a US-Mexico-Canada agreement that would replace the 25-year-old North American fair trade agreement.
In turn, it could provide a solid solution to strengthen all economies, providing everyone with more stability to deal with the immigration problem at hand.
What will happen with the Central American migration?
The migration isn’t going to stop until Central American countries can get everything under control. They need to reduce gang violence considerably and they need to create more job opportunities.
Although there are plenty of ideas on how to do this, nothing has taken effect as of yet. This means that the migration with tens of thousands of people seeking asylum in Mexico, the United States, or elsewhere around the world continues every single month.
Mexico can’t house all of the asylum seekers and neither can the United States. Unfortunately, most of the migrants can only reach those two countries due to basic logistics.
If Trump and Ebrard can come to a better agreement, it will be better for everyone.
Over the next week, meetings will take place in order to determine what the next step is going to be.