Threats and Bullying: Trump’s Mexico “Trade Deal”

That’s how former WTO head Pascal Lamy described the deal Trump forced Mexico to accept last week — using tariffs or their threat to pressure and bully other countries to bend to Washington’s will, Lamy adding:

“If there’s a rule of law, it’s because people believe it’s better than the law of the jungle. And many people don’t like the law of the jungle because some are strong, some are weak, and they don’t want the strong to always step on the weak.”

It’s how the US and its imperial partners operate on the world stage, exploiting and otherwise harming the great majority of people at home and abroad to benefit privileged interests exclusively.

After months of unresolved, US-initiated, trade war with China, Trump opened a new front against Mexico.

He threatened to impose 5% duties on Mexican imports effective June 10, rising to 15% on August 1, 20% on September 1, and 25% on October 1 over the flow of Central American asylum seekers, fleeing for their safety.

Mexican authorities bear no responsibility for what’s going on. International law protects the rights of refugees and asylum seekers. So does the 1980 US Refugee Act, a statutory basis for granting them asylum.

Unwanted aliens of the wrong race and ethnicity, along with Muslims from the wrong countries, are unwelcome in Trump’s America.

His immigration policy blocks them from entering the US — notably individuals fleeing repressive US-supported regimes in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, three of the world’s most violent nations.

Muslims from countries on the US target list for regime change are also included in Trump’s travel ban — affecting nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, as well as North Korea and Venezuela.

His immigration policy has nothing to do with US national security, everything to do with his hostility toward unwanted aliens.

Concessions reportedly agreed to by Mexico were offered months earlier in talks between then-Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Mexican interior secretary Olga Sanchez.

According to the State Department, the deal concluded on Friday includes deployment of around 6,000 Mexican National Guard forces throughout the country, especially along its southern border, to stem the flow unwanted aliens and “tak(e) decisive action to dismantle human smuggling and trafficking organizations, (as well as) their illicit financial and transportation networks.”

Both countries share a 1,954 mile border. Whatever actions are taken on the US and Mexican sides may only slow, not stop the flow of people seeking asylum in America.

In May, US border control officers apprehended over 130,000 aliens crossing from Mexico, the highest number in over a decade.

Unwanted Central American aliens reaching US territory “will be rapidly returned to Mexico where they may await the adjudication of their asylum claims” under terms of the deal reached, according to the State Department.

If measures agreed on don’t work, both countries “will take further (tougher) actions.” Bilateral discussions on this issue will continue.

The Trump regime’s policy toward unwanted aliens has nothing to do with helping “citizens of the region…build better lives for themselves and their families at home,” as the State Department falsely claimed.

It has everything to do with continuing dirty regional business as usual, uncaring about the rights and welfare of its people — ruthlessly persecuted and exploited in nations where the largest outflows come from, their regimes fully supported by Washington.

On Friday, Trump tweeted:

“I am pleased to inform you that (the US) reached a signed agreement with Mexico. The Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the US on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended.”

About 80% of Mexican exports go to the US, giving its authorities one-sided leverage to force its will on its southern neighbor.

Former Mexican President Porfirio Diaz (1830 – 1915) once lamented that his country shared a border with the US, saying:

“Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States!”

In the mid-19th century, the US stole half the country’s territory following war it initiated. The so-called Mexican Cession includes present-day California, Nevada, Utah, most of Arizona, about half of New Mexico, along with parts of Colorado and Wyoming.

According to Trump, Mexico agreed to buy “large quantities” of US agricultural products. The country already is a large buyer of US farm products.

Claiming the amount will be greater sounds like typical DJT hyperbole and exaggeration to appear he extracted more concessions than what came out of talks.

The State Department’s Friday communique about what Mexican and Trump regime officials agreed on made no mention of agricultural purchases from the US in it.

Separately, Friday’s Labor Department report showed only 75,000 jobs created in May, suggesting a slowing economy.

According to economist John Williams,

the “entire gain came about only because April payrolls were revised lower by 75,000 (-75,000), on top of downside revisions to March payrolls.”

Williams believes a “major new recession continues to unfold, with a deepening, broad economic contraction evident in key economic series.” He sees Fed easing by September.

Unresolved trade war with China is making a bad situation worse, Beijing unwilling to bend to unacceptable US demands.

Friday’s US/Mexico agreement could unravel if things don’t go as planned. The US-Mexico-Canada (trade) Agreement (USMCA) is in trouble.

The Dem-controlled House leadership reportedly rejects the deal unless Big Pharma giveaways are removed, assuring increasingly unaffordable high drug prices otherwise.

Voting on the agreement is stalled until this issue is resolved, Dems using it for political advantage ahead of 2020 elections.

They’re as amenable to high drug prices as Republicans. Trump’s earlier support for lowering them was all hype with no follow-through.

Stopping the flow of asylum seekers along the US/Mexico border is unlikely to be achieved.

If Trump retaliates later this year or in 2020, along with no resolution to his trade war with China, it’ll increase the chance for US recession before next year’s elections, perhaps making him a one-term president.


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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

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Articles by: Stephen Lendman

About the author:

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." Visit his blog site at Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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