Kicking off the 2018 United States midterm elections, President Trump proposed a basic tariff on
Mexico to raise revenue for building the border wall. This proposal not only has now been
slammed by Democrats, but it has also now made its way into the mainstream media.
One of these controversies is how tariffs are supposed to work in regards to trade negotiations,
which is usually between two countries or two groups of countries. The U.S. imposed tariffs on
steel imports from Canada and Mexico back in May 2018, intending to pressure them into
signing a trade agreement with the U.S.—a process that typically takes years of negotiations
and multiple rounds of bargaining before reaching an agreement that may or may not be ratified
by all parties involved (e.g. the European Union, China, United States). The recent tariff
proposals have only accelerated the trade negotiations, pushing them to finish by November 2018.
With all of this being said, I believe that the mainstream media is failing to educate the public on
how tariffs are supposed to work. The mainstream media has been mischaracterizing tariffs as a
form of trade negotiation when in reality they are a tax placed upon certain products being
imported into a country—something that has little to do with trade negotiations.
For example, when President Trump proposed placing a tariff on Mexico in order to pay for
border wall construction costs, this was not an attempt at negotiating for Mexico’s cooperation
with America’s goals. Trump instead was attempting to raise revenue for building a wall that
Mexico has insisted they will not pay for, and it’s yet another example of Trump attempting to
move forward with his campaign promise despite objection from others.
As I stated before, tariffs are a form of taxation on imports imposed by countries that are placed
on foreign-manufactured goods. It is not a policy enacted by the World Trade Organization, nor
are they are part of any trade negotiations—despite what the mainstream media says. Tariffs
are there solely to raise revenue for the country imposing them.
The U.S. has recently imposed tariffs on steel imports from Canada and Mexico because
President Trump wanted to pressure the countries into signing a trade agreement that benefits
America, but it has not worked out in favor of the U.S., nor will it. The issue with tariffs is that
while they are effective in raising revenue for countries imposing them, they can also harm the
economy of the countries imposing them because businesses need to pass on their cost to
consumers—which can make an unaffordable product even less affordable by raising its retail price.
An example of this is when automobiles are imported from other countries, these automobiles
are taxed by way of a tariff placed upon them. This makes the automobile less affordable for
American consumers by increasing its price. This is detrimental to the economy because it
prevents Americans from being able to afford a product that they might not otherwise be able to.
It also hurts the economy by hurting foreign companies that are trying to export their products to
the U.S., which affects the American economy as well because it limits how much said foreign
companies can legally earn in revenue—which, in turn, limits what they can spend on hiring workers and increasing their business operations.
The U.S. is not trying to negotiate an agreement with Mexico, nor are they trying to coerce the
country into agreeing with America’s goals for it. The U.S. is simply attempting to raise revenue
for its border wall construction and the argument that tariffs will hurt the economy doesn’t hold
weight since we can already see how tariffs hurt Mexico and other countries that have been
affected by them—without America having to implement them at all, just by simply existing as a country that can put them into effect.
Another way I think the mainstream media is mischaracterizing tariffs is in the context of trade negotiation.
For example, in regards to Canada and Mexico, when President Trump has proposed tariffs for
both countries, this has been framed as a form of retaliation against them for refusing to be part
of an agreement with America to build a border wall. The problem with this framing of things is
that President Trump has proposed tariffs on both Mexico and Canada not because they
refused to be part of any agreement with America’s goals, but instead because he wants to
raise revenue for building the wall by taxing their exports into America—Mexico’s exports into
America and Canada’s exports into America. http://macledge.com/
This is the only reason tariffs were proposed for Mexico and Canada since they both produce
steel products, which are the targeted products for tariffs. South Korea and Vietnam produce
electronics products, which are also targeted for tariffs. The reason these countries are on the