Count Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy among those firmly against the Trump’s administration’s plans to hit Mexican imports with 5% rising tariffs each month, which he says would tank the U.S. economy — and that’s why it’s an empty threat President Donald Trump is unlikely to follow through with.
“And if he slaps a 25% tariff on Mexico it’s going to tank the American economy. And I think the president knows that and I don’t think he’ll do it.”
Kennedy said in an interview Sunday on CBS that tariffs on Mexican imports would “tank the American economy.”
“He’s been known to play with fire but not live hand grenades,” Kennedy said of Trump. “And if he slaps a 25% tariff on Mexico it’s going to tank the American economy. And I think the president knows that and I don’t think he’ll do it.”
Trump threatened last week to slap duties on Mexican imports starting at 5% on June 10, and rising 5% each month until October when it hits 25% unless Mexico addresses the flood of migrants flowing through its country and illegally entering the U.S.
The tariffs would increase prices for U.S. companies and U.S. consumers, also putting the new U.S.-Canada-Mexico trade agreement that is awaiting approval in Congress in jeopardy.
The White House has been pushing to get the new trade pact retooling Nafta finalized, lawmakers are raising concerns that hitting counties with tariffs as leverage will complicate the future of the agreement, with Trump’s new tariffs coming as an aside to the deal.
“We hope that the President will join us in bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform, be strategic about our trade relationships and recognize the importance of the U.S.-Mexico relationship,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Friday. “Yet again, the President is sowing chaos over the border instead of delivering solutions for American workers and for American consumers.”
Editor’s note: Pelosi’s political posturing aside, has Trump gone too far with the tariffs against Mexico (there have also been reports he’s thinking about slapping Australia with tariffs), which will drive up the costs of food for a lot of Americans? Do you think he’ll actually follow through, and should GOP senators have Trump’s back and remain united? Share your thoughts below.