Saturday, June 1, 2019

Even Kushner and Trump’s Top Trade Adviser Opposed New Mexican Tariffs

President Trump’s top trade adviser opposed the White House’s threat to impose escalating tariffs on Mexico, arguing that the plan could jeopardize a pending North American trade accord, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Jared Kushner called in from the Middle East to also argue against the tariffs imposed by the president on Mexico, reports The Washington Post.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, not exactly a free trader, argued that tariffs on Mexico further cloud prospects for ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the proposed successor to Nafta that is already facing significant hurdles in the Democrat-controlled House, these people said.

“Lighthizer is not happy,” one of the people, an administration official, said.

Kushner argued against imposing unilateral tariffs along the same lines as Lightizier. He warned is father-in-law that the move could imperil the prospects of ratifying a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada.

But nothing sunk in. The tariff crazed president appears willing to risk blowing up the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

To be sure, USMCA is a crony deal but it is better than no deal. This latest move by Trump to impose tariffs on Mexico suggests that the nationalist tariff-happy president is just lurking in the waters waiting to put tariffs wherever and whenever he has an opportunity which will make Mexico suspicious of USMCA  if the president is just going to go around it at his whim.

The US Chamber of Commerce, which wants USMCA to pass, is considering taking legal action in an attempt to block the new tariffs. “We have no choice but to pursue every option available to push back,” said Neil Bradley, executive vice president and chief policy officer at the Chamber.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, a usual Trump supporter and the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, slammed the president’s action, saying it was a “misuse of presidential tariff authority” that would burden American consumers and “seriously jeopardize passage of USMCA.”

“These proposed tariffs would have devastating consequences on manufacturers in America and on American consumers,” said Jay Timmons, chief executive officer of the National Association of Manufacturers. “We have taken our concerns to the highest levels of the administration and strongly urge them to consider carefully the impact of this action on working families across this country.”

Meanwhile, anti-trade nutjob and Trump adviser Peter Navarro cheered the president's move. "I would suggest to investors to look at this calmly, look at what we are trying to do, this is actually a brilliant move by the president to get Mexico’s attention, to get them to help us,” Mr Navarro told CNBC in an interview.



  1. How bad on trade must this president be to make Kushner & Lighthizer look like the voice of reason on tariffs...WOW!!!

  2. Will Trump defy his boss, Jared Kushner?