O que é este blog?

Este blog trata basicamente de ideias, se possível inteligentes, para pessoas inteligentes. Ele também se ocupa de ideias aplicadas à política, em especial à política econômica. Ele constitui uma tentativa de manter um pensamento crítico e independente sobre livros, sobre questões culturais em geral, focando numa discussão bem informada sobre temas de relações internacionais e de política externa do Brasil. Para meus livros e ensaios ver o website: www.pralmeida.org. Para a maior parte de meus textos, ver minha página na plataforma Academia.edu, link: https://itamaraty.academia.edu/PauloRobertodeAlmeida

Mostrando postagens com marcador Donald Trump. Mostrar todas as postagens
Mostrando postagens com marcador Donald Trump. Mostrar todas as postagens

segunda-feira, 9 de setembro de 2019

Trump-Bolsonaro: decididos a intensificar a relacao - Andres Oppenheimer

Aparentemente, os dois presidentes estão decididos a avançar a cooperação bilateral. Resta saber se as burocracias e os interesses econômicos de parte e outra vão cooperar com o intento.


Trump, Bolsonaro could change political map
President Donald Trump's economic nationalism has seriously hurt U.S. ties with its closest allies around the world, but it may result in an unprecedented alliance with Brazil's right-wing populist government.
by Andres Oppenheimer 
Texarkana Gazette, Sep. 9 2019 @ 12:28am

President Donald Trump's economic nationalism has seriously hurt U.S. ties with its closest allies around the world, but it may result in an unprecedented alliance with Brazil's right-wing populist government.
That could change Latin America's political map.
In a Sept. 2 tweet, Trump confirmed that he is negotiating a bilateral trade agreement with Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, whom friends and foes call "Latin America's Trump." Trump met with Brazilian foreign minister Ernesto Araujo at the White House on Aug. 30 to move ahead with trade talks.
Judging from what Araujo told me in an extended interview hours after the meeting, the two governments are talking about a forging special relationship between the two biggest economies of the Americas that would go beyond trade.
Washington and Brazil want to "move forward with a very ambitious free-trade agreement, which has been a dream for Brazil for many years, but had been hindered by anti-American biases of previous (Brazilian) governments," Araujo told me. "We are going to go ahead with that now."
Araujo added that, "We have wasted many opportunities for cooperation in the past because of the anti-American sentiment of former Brazilian leaders, which did not correspond with the feelings of the bulk of Brazil's population."
Trump and Bolsonaro "share a world vision," Araujo said. Over the past 30 years, there has been a "progressive erosion of national sovereignty," caused by ideas pushed by multilateral organizations such as the United Nations, he added.
When I asked him if a U.S.-Brazil trade deal would automatically result in Brazil's withdrawal from Mercosur — the South American common market that includes Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay — the foreign minister did not exclude that possibility.
Under Mercosur rules, no member country can sign a bilateral trade deal with third parties without the other bloc members' participation.
Araujo said that Bolsonaro has already talked with Argentina's President Mauricio Macri about relaxing Mercosur rules to allow a U.S.-Brazil trade deal. But he conceded that a victory by Argentina's front-runner opposition candidate Alberto Fernandez in the Oct. 27 elections would endanger Mercosur's existence.
Araujo said that Fernandez, who has former leftist populist Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner as his running mate, is part of the "Sao Paulo Forum, a group that coordinates leftist parties and anti-democratic projects in Latin America."
"If a project with that kind of vision wins in Argentina, that creates difficulties for Mercosur, because Mercosur is not just a trade bloc but also a pro-democracy bloc," Araujo told me. "We have a very clear and very strong democracy clause in Mercosur."
If Trump is reelected, and barring anything unforeseen in Brazil, we might see a new political map in Latin America.
Brazil — Latin America's biggest economy — could become Trump's top partner in the region, and could effectively pull out of the Mercosur trade bloc.
That would among other things pose huge problems for Argentina if Fernandez wins the elections there. Brazil is Argentina's top export market, in part thanks to Mercosur's preferential tariffs.
If a leftist government in Argentina is left out of Mercosur, Argentina would have few places to go for credit but China.
The best thing that could happen would be for Brazil to lead its Mercosur partners to a regional free-trade deal with the United States. The worst scenario would be that Argentina, with nowhere else to go, becomes more China-dependent than ever, much like Venezuela has in recent years.


sábado, 3 de agosto de 2019

Trump perdeu a guerra comercial com a China - Edward Alden (Foreign Policy)

Trade and tribulations. The Trump administration’s policy of tariffs, threats, and forcing allies to bend to the United States’ will was based on a fallacy. Now, the future of trade remains unclear, Edward Alden writes

Trump Hired Robert Lighthizer to Win a Trade War. He Lost.

The Trump administration’s obsession with trade threats, tariffs, and bullying both allies and rivals into submission was based on an ambitious theory. It turned out to be a fallacy.

United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (center-left) shakes hands with China's Vice Premier Liu He (center-right) as U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (L) and China's Commerce Minister Zhong Shan (R) look on at the Xijiao Conference Center in Shanghai on July 31.
United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (center-left) shakes hands with China's Vice Premier Liu He (center-right) as U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (L) and China's Commerce Minister Zhong Shan (R) look on at the Xijiao Conference Center in Shanghai on July 31.  NG HAN GUAN/AFP/Getty Images
Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. trade representative, agreed to serve in President Donald Trump’s cabinet in order to test his theory: that if the United States freed itself from the shackles of international trade rules, it could use the power of its large market to force other countries to bend to its will. Trump, with his stated love for tariffs and his conviction that the United States had been losing on trade for decades, seemed the perfect leader under whom he could test that proposition.
Now, with Trump having announced that new 10 percent tariffs will be imposed Sept. 1 on the remaining $300 billion in Chinese exports to the United States, that theory has been shredded. The administration has fired almost every salvo it has to force the Chinese into submission, and the two countries are further away from a trade deal than ever before. 
The administration has fired almost every salvo it has to force the Chinese into submission, and the two countries are further away from a trade deal than ever before.

Trump gave Lighthizer everything he should have needed to compel trading partners to change—the freedom to threaten and impose tariffs, the neutering of World Trade Organization (WTO) restraints, and a boss who wouldn’t settle for weak deals to claim victory if the going got too tough. But they have nothing to show for it except for an escalating trade war with the world’s second-largest economy.
For those who saw merit in Lighthizer’s approach, the concern was always that Trump would fail Lighthizer; instead, Lighthizer has failed Trump. And there is no theory that serves as a guide to what might come next.
The best way to understand the last two and half years of U.S. trade policy is as a protracted campaign aimed at forcing other countries to submit to U.S. demands.
The best way to understand the last two and half years of U.S. trade policy is as a protracted campaign aimed at forcing other countries to submit to U.S. demands.
Lighthizer preferred bilateral negotiations because smaller countries are easier to bully one at a time than collectively.
The first volley in Lighthizer’s campaign came when he dusted off Section 232 of the half-century-old Trade Expansion Act, which permits tariffs on national security grounds, and imposed duties on steel and aluminum. South Korea, dependent on the United States both for trade and security, bowed quickly by agreeing to a quota on steel exports and rewriting its trade agreement to permit greater protection for U.S. cars. Canada and Mexico fought harder, retaliating against U.S. farm exports and forcing a difficult renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. But both countries, almost wholly dependent on the U.S. market for exports, also accepted a deal largely on U.S. terms—though that agreement has now been stalled by Democratic opposition in the U.S. Congress.
The European Union, bigger and more confident, fought back still more forcefully and has so far given up nothing. It retaliated against the United States by slapping tariffs on politically sensitive goods, including corn, bourbon, and Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and has resisted demands for bilateral negotiations. The United States has more ammunition—tariffs on automobiles that Trump could trigger under a separate Section 232 investigation and tariffs soon to be authorized by the WTO under a long-running U.S. complaint against European subsidies for Airbus. Europe warned that any new tariffs would be met with massive retaliation.
The real target, however, was China and its $400 billion trade surplus with the United States. Lighthizer’s critique of China—that it exploited loopholes in WTO rules to gain unfair trade advantages against the United States and others—was a decade ahead of its time.
Lighthizer’s critique of China—that it exploited loopholes in WTO rules to gain unfair trade advantages against the United States and others—was a decade ahead of its time.
When previous administrations and multinational companies were still hoping for China to emerge as a responsible stakeholder in the global trading system, Lighthizer was warning that China was gaming the system to capture industry after industry. His views on Chinese behavior have now become mainstream in both U.S. political parties.
For a time, the theory seemed to be working as planned. The United States hit China with 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of exports in July and August 2018 and then, with no meaningful response from China, added 10 percent tariffs on another $200 billion in September 2018. At the end of 2018, with Trump threatening to boost that tariff to 25 percent, China finally succumbed and sat down to negotiate seriously with Lighthizer and other U.S. officials.
After several rounds of increasingly serious negotiations this year on long-standing issues such as Beijing’s demands that U.S. companies share proprietary technologies as the price of investing in China, intellectual property theft, and Chinese subsidies to industries, the talks fell apart in May. The U.S. explanation was that China had agreed to make significant changes that would be enshrined in law and then pulled back; the Chinese version was that negotiations were still in flux and Beijing had never made clear commitments. Trump responded to the breakdown by ratcheting the tariffs up to 25 percent and then threatened new tariffs on the remainder of Chinese exports.
While Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping called a brief truce at the G-20 summit in June in Osaka, Japan, the May breakdown effectively marked the end of negotiations. Chinese leaders became convinced that the Trump administration would never do a deal on terms they could accept and turned to other ways to shore up the economy through credit, new investments, and lowering tariffs for other trading partners. China has resigned itself to living with the U.S. tariffs for the time being and believes it can weather any economic harm.
China has resigned itself to living with the U.S. tariffs for the time being and believes it can weather any economic harm.
The United States in turn began to ratchet up the pressure by targeting flagship Chinese technology companies like the telecommunications giant Huawei and several makers of supercomputers.

Trump’s announcement this week that the United States will impose 10 percent tariffs on the remainder of Chinese imports came after a brief and unsuccessful effort to restart serious negotiations in Shanghai. The move may look like part of the same campaign to use still more tariffs to force China to make concessions it has so far refused, especially since the two sides are scheduled to meet again in September. But no one in the administration can be under any illusion that China will buckle to the additional pressure. To do a deal now would be humiliating for Beijing. News reports suggest that both Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who have led the talks, opposed the new round of tariffs. Trump overruled them.
That makes the next steps in the trade war especially hard to predict. Will China hit back to save face or escalate in other ways such as military threats against Taiwan or other neighbors? Will Trump quickly raise the 10 percent tariff to 25 percent, which would truly hurt U.S. consumers of smartphones and other Chinese-made consumer products? Will the Trump administration turn its attention now to Europe—or perhaps to India or Japan—all of which are resisting U.S. trade demands?
Politics could take over as well. With the leading Democratic presidential candidates, other than former Vice President Joe Biden, running as tough on trade and tough on China, Trump may simply mete out a random dose of tariffs over the next year to avoid being outflanked by his rivals.
The entire theory that had anchored the Trump trade policy turns out to have been wrong;
The entire theory that had anchored the Trump trade policy turns out to have been wrong;
it may live on, zombielike, but the already minimal returns will diminish more. The United States will hurt itself and others with tariffs without even the prospect of meaningful trade deals.
This means that the trade wars—which U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell this week called “something that we haven’t faced before”—have become even more unpredictable. For investors, and for companies making long-range investment decisions, the uncertainty has now multiplied. Tariffs have gone from being a means to force changes in trading practices to an end in themselves. That was never Lighthizer’s plan. But the next steps now are entirely in the hands of Trump. 

Edward Alden is the Ross distinguished visiting professor at Western Washington University, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and the author of Failure to Adjust: How Americans Got Left Behind in the Global Economy. Twitter: @edwardalden


Read More
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer testifies before the Senate Finance Committee on March 22 in Washington. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

You Live in Robert Lighthizer’s World Now

Trump might look like he's flailing on trade—but it's all going according to his trade czar's plan, which has been years in the making.
Employees build a Boeing 777 airplane cockpit at a plant in Wichita, Kansas, on Aug. 18, 2004. (Larry W. Smith/Getty Images)

Why China Will Win the Trade War

Trump thinks he has a strong hand. In fact, Washington is far more vulnerable than Beijing.
A container ship unloads its cargo from Asia at the Long Beach port in California on Aug. 1.

China Shoots Back in Trump’s Trade War Escalation

A transcript of Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying’s remarks to reporters.

segunda-feira, 24 de junho de 2019

Quase guerra EUA contra o Irã: Trump como sempre mentindo - Ishaan Tharoor (WP)

A verdadeira razão de porque Trump retrocedeu na ordem de bombardear o Irã é, como em todos os outros casos, puramente eleitoral: ele não quer perder as eleições do ano que vem, se por acaso ordenar uma nova guerra.
Ele jamais se comoveria em salvar 150 mil vidas iranianas.
Ele só pensa nele mesmo.
Paulo Roberto de Almeida

Can Trump put out the fire he started?

Ishaan Tharoor
The Washington Post, June 23, 2019

(Zach Gibson/Bloomberg)
(Zach Gibson/Bloomberg)
It’s a strange thing for leftist doves to find themselves on the same side of an issue as Tucker Carlson. The right-wing Fox News anchor known for his unabashed white nationalism was among the skeptics who privately urged President Trump not to launch a military strike against Iran last week. After Iranian authorities downed a U.S. surveillance drone above the Strait of Hormuz, the White House plotted retaliatory action. Key figures in the administration — chiefly, national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — were reportedly keen on hitting back. A plan of attack was put into place.
But on Friday, Trump took to social media and congratulated himself on reining back a U.S. military that was “cocked and loaded” to strike at Iranian targets. Carlson’s thinking — that Trump’s nationalist base is uninterested in, if not wholly opposed to, costly military entanglements abroad — appeared to be on the president’s mind. He suggested the more effective approach would be for the United States to maintain its current pressure campaign on Iran, including slapping on more economic sanctions Monday. (The United States did carry out cyberattacks on Iranian systems last week.)
“I’m getting a lot of praise for what I did. My expression is, ‘We have plenty of time,’ " Trump told reporters Saturday, referring to his decision to halt an attack that would have claimed Iranian lives. “Everyone was saying I’m a warmonger, and now they’re saying I’m a dove, and I say I’m neither. I didn’t like the idea of them unknowingly shooting down an unmanned drone and we killing 150 people.”
Trump also publicly upbraided Bolton for his “tough posture” and hawkish mentality. In private, Trump was said to be complaining about the assembled hard-liners in his inner circle. “These people want to push us into a war, and it’s so disgusting,” Trump told one confidant about his own advisers, according to the Wall Street Journal. “We don’t need any more wars.”
On one count, Trump is right. He is neither a warmonger nor a dove. If Trump had his way, the United States would likely have a smaller military footprint in the Middle East and lean more aggressively on its allies in the Gulf to execute its regional agenda. But for all Trump’s insistence that he is opposed to war, he still is the one who laid the powder for a dangerous flare-up.
The showdown over Iran was just the latest instance of Trump playing both arsonist and fireman. The current state of tensions is a direct consequence of the Trump administration reneging on the terms of the Iranian nuclear deal, reimposing sanctions and enacting other measuresto squeeze the regime in Tehran. All of this was done against the wishes of key U.S. allies in Europe and amid the protestations of much of the foreign policy establishment in Washington.
“Trump’s usual shtick is to paper over the problem of his creation and then declare victory, but this week he added a biblical dimension to the drama-making,” wrote Politico’s Jack Shafer. “First, he assumed the persona of the vengeful god, commanding an attack on Iran in retaliation for its shoot-down of a $200 million Navy surveillance drone. Then he ducked into the wardrobe for a costume change to emerge in the cloak of the Prince of Peace and called off the strike.”
It’s a somewhat unconvincing act, especially as Trump’s hawkish advisers remain on the warpath. Both Bolton and Pompeo journeyed to the Middle East over the weekend, talking tough on Iran and vowing to prevent Tehran from building nuclear weapons — a prospect the U.N.'s atomic agency and the other permanent members of Security Council all believed had been avoided by the nuclear deal Trump rejected.
Bolton appeared in Israel alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who hailed the “crippling American sanctions” placed on Iran. Pompeo is slated for a whirlwind set of talks about Iran on Monday in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the two Arab monarchies most bent on countering the Islamic Republic.
“Pompeo, who last year issued a list of 12 broad demands for change in Iran, shows no signs of softening his outreach to the Islamic Republic,” wrote my colleague Carol Morello. “He began his travels lashing out at Tehran, belittling its explanation of why it downed a U.S. drone last week as ‘childlike’ and not worthy of belief.”
Pompeo tried to steer Trump toward military action last week, and he retains significant influence within the White House. “In an administration that churns through cabinet members at a dizzying pace, few have survived as long as Pompeo — and none have as much stature, a feat he has achieved through an uncanny ability to read the president’s desires and translate them into policy and public messaging,” noted the New York Times. “He has also taken advantage of a leadership void at the Defense Department, which has gone nearly six months without a confirmed secretary.”
America’s top diplomat also rubbished claims that Trump had sent a message to Iran via a diplomatic backchannel run by Oman. The president says that he is open to talks with the regime in Tehran, but few experts believe this administration is on track to lead Iran to the table.
Seyed Hossein Mousavian, a former spokesman for Iranian nuclear negotiators and a scholar at Princeton University, told the Atlantic that, “by destroying the deal, Trump destroyed confidence and any chance for future negotiations.”
And tensions seem bound to spike again.
“Avoiding further escalation will be difficult, given both sides’ determination not to back down,” Philip Gordon, a former Obama administration official, wrote in Foreign Affairs. “A new nuclear negotiation, which Trump claims to want, would be one way to avoid a clash. But Iran is not likely to enter talks with an administration it does not trust, and even less likely to agree to the sort of far-reaching deal Trump says is necessary.”

sábado, 1 de junho de 2019

Com tarifas, Trump quer transformar México em uma Cuba ou Coreia do Norte - Diogo Schelp (Uol)

Com tarifas, Trump quer transformar México em uma Cuba ou Coreia do Norte

Fronteira
O presidente americano Donald Trump visita a fronteira com o México 
(Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

O "arte" da negociação do presidente Donald Trump consiste em fazer chantagens. Primeiro, ele coloca um bode na sala, depois cobra um preço alto para tirá-lo do lá. É o que o americano está fazendo mais uma vez ao anunciar que vai elevar as tarifas de importação de produtos mexicanos, até que o país vizinho adote alguma medida para impedir o fluxo de emigrantes para os Estados Unidos.
Trump anunciou pelo Twitter, nesta quinta-feira, 30, que vai impor uma tarifa de 5% sobre todos os produtos importados do México a partir de 10 de junho. No dia 1º de julho, a taxa de importação vai subir para 10%. A partir de então, será elevada em 5% a cada mês, até atingir 25%.
Muito já se falou sobre o impacto que essa medida vai causar não só na economia mexicana, mas também na americana. O México é o maior parceiro comercial dos Estados Unidos e o setor automobilístico americano tem um relação de absoluta interdependência com o país latino.
Mas há outro aspecto relevante nessa história: ela revela que Trump não compreende o dever de responsabilidade que um governo democrático tem por seus cidadãos. A não ser em casos de pessoas suspeitas de terem cometido crimes ou que devem pensão alimentícia, países democráticos jamais proíbem seus cidadãos de emigrar. Isso não é apenas moralmente inaceitável. É um contra-senso.
Nas democracias, os cidadãos elegem os governantes para que esses defendam seus direitos, inclusive, se preciso for, diante de pressões externas. O governo mexicano não pode sobrepor os interesses americanos aos interesses do povo mexicano, e isso inclui a liberdade de cruzar a fronteira para os Estados Unidos. Os guardas mexicanos não podem impedir seus conterrâneos de tentar a travessia. Cabe às autoridades americanas impedi-los de entrar, se não tiverem visto.
Trump quer que o governo mexicano faça algo que apenas ditaduras como as de Cuba e da Coreia do Norte fazem: aprisionar suas populações dentro de suas fronteiras. Não é à toa que Cuba é chamada de ilha-prisão.
Curiosamente, a incapacidade de Trump de entender esse aspecto dos governos democráticos é compartilhada pela família Bolsonaro. O deputado federal Eduardo Bolsonaro — o presidente da Comissão de Relações Exteriores da Câmara que tem atuado como um chanceler paralelo do governo de seu pai, o presidente Jair Bolsonaro — chegou a afirmar em março, durante uma viagem aos Estados Unidos, que os brasileiros que vivem ilegalmente no país são "uma vergonha". Ora, um princípio básico da diplomacia é que a política externa serve para proteger o interesse nacional de um país. Isso inclui defender os direitos de seus cidadãos fora de suas fronteiras, inclusive o direito de livre circulação.
Do ponto de vista da diplomacia brasileira, não existe brasileiro "ilegal". O que existe são brasileiros que estão vivendo no exterior sem permissão das autoridades locais e que, assim mesmo, têm direito a todo o apoio consular que o Estado brasileiro é capaz de lhe prestar. Aos olhos de seu governo, esses brasileiros não podem ser considerados infratores.
Mas voltando ao caso mexicano. O que o México pode fazer — e já vem tentando — é restringir o fluxo de emigrantes vindos de outros países da América Central e do Sul que usam o território mexicano como corredor para chegar à fronteira americana. Em 2017, do total de imigrantes detidos pelas autoridades americanas tentando entrar nos Estados Unidos ilegalmente, 130.000 eram mexicanos e 180.000 vinham de outros países. Desde o ano passado, as forças mexicanas instalaram checkpoints ao longo de todas as estradas que levam para o norte. Os imigrantes sem visto vindos de outros países são detidos e enviados de volta.
Os Estados Unidos podem até querer que o México faça mais para barrar os imigrantes originários de terceiros países — ainda que isso imponha aos mexicanos a tarefa de fazer o serviço sujo, e altamente questionável, que os americanos não conseguem cumprir. Mas o governo mexicano não pode impedir seu próprio povo, que representa quase metade do fluxo migratório, de cruzar a fronteira, sob pena de se transformar em uma Cuba.

A destruicao do sistema multilateral de comercio por um presidente louco - Catherine Rampell (WP)

Como eu dizia, as sobretaxas tarifárias impostas por Trump são ILEGAIS: ele não tem o poder de impor essas tarifas contra quaisquer países.
Quando o Congresso americano vai agir?
Paulo Roberto de Almeida


Just a few of the reasons that Trump’s Mexico tariffs are deeply stupid

The Washington Post, June 1, 2019

Amid calls for impeachment, a persistently underwater approval rating, subpoenas for financial records and an ever-growing list of scandals, the strong economy is pretty much the only thing President Trump has going for him right now. It’s his best shot at reelection.
And for some reason he seems keen on destroying it.
On Thursday evening the Trump administration announced that it would impose a new 5 percent tariff on Mexican imports, ratcheting up in increments to 25 percent by Oct. 1. This is allegedly to pressure Mexico to stop the flow of immigrants coming to the United States.
This decision is so mind-bogglingly stupid, it’s hard to keep track of all the reasons it’s dumb. Here are a few.
1. Americans are paying these tariffs. We already have two studies by teams of top-notch trade economists who have found that the costs of Trump’s earlier tariffs are being passed along to American businesses and consumers. An update of one of those studies pegged the cost of tariffs announced before Thursday (including the most recent escalation on $200 billion of Chinese goods) at $831 per U.S. household. It seems reasonable that this latest round of tariffs on Mexican goods will also be largely absorbed by Americans.
Industry groups, including those for produce and retail, have put out statements warning about the cost to consumers of these tariffs.
2. This will seriously screw up supply chains and hurt American companies— including American companies that need Mexican parts to make their own products that get sold here or exported abroad.
Mexico recently became our No. 1 trading partner. Two-thirds of our imports from Mexico are intra-company trade (i.e., a firm trading with itself across the border).
The auto industry is especially vulnerable; of U.S. auto exports, about 35 percent of the value-added comes from imported inputs, according to Deutsche Bank Securities chief economist Torsten Slok. Note also that the U.S. auto industry is already in trouble. Announced layoffs for the first four months of this year in autos are the highest since 2009, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
3. We don’t know the full economic cost of the tariffs, but it would be painful for the United States. Two years ago, a research and consulting firm calculated an estimate for the costs of a similar (20 percent) tariff on Mexican imports: “Over three years, the bill comes to $286 billion in lost value to the U.S. economy and a loss of 755,000 American jobs. Two-thirds of those job losses would be at the expense of low- to medium-skilled workers.”
4. It’s not clear the tariffs are legal. The White House said its legal justificationfor the tariffs is the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. This 1977 law is mostly related to sanctions; it has never been used for tariffs, according to the Congressional Research Service. Some trade lawyers have suggested that the law does not give the president power to unilaterally impose trade duties.


in which a foreign country or person has interest—like freezing assets or prohibiting FDI. None of that sounds like imposing a tariff to me. Because tariffs clearly fall under Congress' powers in the Constitution, Trump can only impose tariffs if Congress clearly delegated
power to do so. I don't read IEEPA as a clear delegation of power to impose tariffs. Probably why no President has ever used IEEPA to impose tariffs. The other laws Trump has used--232 and 301--clearly speak of "import restrictions" and "duties". IEEPA does not.

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5. Mexico does not have power to do the thing Trump seems to be asking the country to do. He’s asking Mexico to block people from Central America from crossing into the United States to exercise their internationally recognized legal right to seek asylum.
6. There is no plan. There was never a plan. Even acting White House chief of staff (and Office of Management and Budget director, and apparently new Labor Department overlord) Mick Mulvaney acknowledged this in a call with reporters. When asked what it would take to remove the tariffs, he said the decision would be “ad hoc.”
7. This new self-inflicted trade-war wound gives us less leverage in negotiating a new trade deal with China (and the European Union and Japan, both of which we’re also simultaneously trade-warring with). The tariffs will damage our economy and encourage already suffering trade-dependent sectors — including agriculture and manufacturing — to place more pressure on the administration to reach a deal as soon as possible. Basically, it makes our stated willingness to absorb a little more trade-war-related pain less credible, since we’ve absorbed so much pain already.
8. It will also damage our ability to negotiate with China (and the E.U. and Japan) because it proves, once again, that Trump can’t be trusted to keep his word, including in the form of a signed international agreement. 
Recall that Trump had previously said that his global steel and aluminum tariffs would stay on our friends in Canada and Mexico until a new North American Free Trade Agreement was signed. But after it was signed last fall, he still didn’t remove the tariffs. Finally, two weeks ago, under pressure from lawmakers, he did remove them ... only to turn around and announce fresh across-the-board tariffs on everything from Mexico.
Mexico negotiated the new NAFTA in good faith, and then was punished for it. Why would anyone ever make a deal with this president, one that required literally any concessions, given this track record?
9. The decision to impose tariffs — and thereby harm red-state farmers and manufacturers — could cause a rift with the Republican lawmakers who have been protecting him. To be sure, they’ve supported him through the trade wars so far. But at some point even they might break, especially if they think another trade war front could jeopardize their own reelection chances.
10. If Trump does indeed manage to wreck the Mexican economy, that would likely increase the flow of immigrants trying to cross the border into the United States. When the Mexican economy is lousy, after all, demand to come to the United States rises.
Of course maybe Trump is counting on making the U.S. economy so lousy too that it’s no longer an attractive destination.
Read more: