On Tuesday, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador stated that his country is prepared to retaliate against the US if US President Donald Trum
On Tuesday, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador stated that his country is prepared to retaliate against the US if US President Donald Trump enacts tariffs on Mexico. The retaliation would come in the form of economic sanctions on US farmers, the same sector Trump has been trying to protect by threatening tariffs on Mexico.
Lopez Obrador said Mexico is ready to take the necessary steps to protect its economy and citizens if Trump follows through with his recently-announced tariffs, set to take effect on June 10th.
“If they [the US] decide to apply these tariffs, to act on their announcements, we must respond,” he told reporters.
The President continued on to say Mexico’s response could come in the form of an embargo on imports of US agricultural products or scrapping trade agreements that have benefited US farmers, suggesting the Mexican government could turn to other countries to meet their agricultural needs.
Many experts have expressed doubt that Lopez Obrador would actually follow through with retaliatory measures, as this could negatively impact Mexico’s own economy more than it would hurt the US. Still, the announcement has caused significant concern among US farmers and political leaders in agricultural-heavy states.
US Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) warned last month against the proposed tariffs, saying rural residents in her state had already “been struggling” due to decreased commodities prices, and that a decrease in agricultural trade would cause “real harm.”
Whether or not Mexico will actually retaliate remains to be seen, but the announcement is an obvious reminder of the state of the US-Mexico relationship in light of the heated debates over immigration and Trump’s proposed border wall.
Mexico Ready to Retaliate By Hurting US Farmers
Mexican government officials have announced they are prepared to take retaliatory action against US farmers in response to proposed US tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.
How Will US Farmers Be Affected?
US farmers stand to suffer significant economic loss should Mexico retaliate by targeting agricultural imports. The goods targeted in Mexico’s retaliatory tariffs will include US soybeans, pork and corn, all of which are exported in large quantities to Mexico.
US-Mexico Trade Relations
In 2017, the US exported $17 billion in agricultural products to Mexico. Mexico generally obtains about one-third of its produce imports from the US, including agricultural products like fruits and vegetables, dairy and beef. Should the Mexican government follow through on the proposed retaliatory measures, US farmers will be forced to sell their products elsewhere or face significant losses.
Summary of Mexico’s Proposed Retaliation
Mexico’s proposed retaliation includes thefollowing measures:
- Agricultural tariffs on US exports of soybeans, pork and corn.
- Tariffs on other US goods, including steel, apples, grapes and cheeses.
- Regulatory measures targeting US coal and agricultural crops.
Although Mexico’s proposed retaliatory measures have not been implemented, the Mexican government has indicated their willingness to retaliate with economic measures if necessary. This has sparked a concern among many US farmers that their livelihoods are at risk.