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Program Information
 Building Bridges 
 Weekly Program
 Ken Nash and Mimi Rosenberg  
 See Notes.
 Attribution (by) 
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Trumps Mexico tariffs were always about white nationalism, and pose an incendiary threat to an imaginary border crisis, but they may also be about gaining leverage against Mexico and the Democrats seeking modifications in the upcoming USMCA trade agreement
Laura Carlsen, head of the Center for International Policys Americas Project in Mexico City
Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) in Washington, D.C. and President of Just Foreign Policy, a non-governmental organization dedicated to reforming United States foreign policy.

Trump, ever the alpha macho, threw down the gauntlet to Mexico. His rant written on White House stationary concluded with a direct threat to the Mexican president: Mexico cannot allow hundreds of thousands of people to pour over its land and into our country " violating the sovereign territory of the United States. If Mexico does not take decisive measures, it will come at a significant price.

The move once again exploits the plight of thousands of families to galvanize a racist electoral base, while in fact, the number of migrants today is neither unprecedented nor unmanageable, and there is no basis for considering desperate families a security threat, and that this wave of migration is mostly not, in legal terms, illegal " its asylum seekers immediately reporting to authorities for processing.

However, the tariff measure against Mexico, like the wall, will fire up his supporters against Mexico " its third-largest trade partner, closest neighbor and, actually, an ally. Meanwhile, the migrants that do arrive in the U.S. are fleeing situations exacerbated by decades of bad American foreign policy. Theres nothing uncontrollable about people applying for asylum. All the U.S. has to do is meet its obligations under international law.

Well examine whether after six months of enduring Trumps bluster, the tariff threat has forced a further appeasement strategy of the new Mexican government, or did AMLOs sharp defense of Mexican sovereignty represent more than shift in tone?

Then, the questions are: What are the likely scenarios now for the treatment of Mexican, and Central American refugees; and how will the center-left policy expectations of the Mexican government be affected; and the binational relationship in general?

Trumps threat of the imposition of tariffs, represent an immoral burden on struggling economies, that invariably affect the civilian population and consumers in both countries. And, while Mexico has a lot to lose and a lot to gain as both countries announced plans to begin the ratification process for the new trilateral accord that would replace NAFTA, we also wonder whether Trumps threats of the imposition of tariffs were tactical, to gain leverage against the Mexican government and against Democrats, who have called for modifications to the agreement.
Produced by Mimi Rosenberg and Ken Nash
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00:28:54 English 2019-06-10
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