“Mexico was ready to launch countermeasures to Trump’s trade war”: Economic Analysts

By Elliot Bullman

Mexico has just fought back by setting tariffs on products such as pork, cheeses and apples from the US in response to Trump's Mexican steel and aluminum taxes.

Mexico’s Ministry of Economy has already set the list of products imported from the United States that will pay a tariff in response to the commercial rates applied by the Donald Trump administration to Mexican steel and aluminum.

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In a decree published in the Official Gazette of the Federation, the government of Mexico reported that it set tariffs of between 15 and 25% on some steels, agricultural goods and pork products.

The announcement came a day after the Mexican government announced that it will initiate a process against the United States before the World Trade Organization for the tariffs imposed on steel and aluminum.

"It is necessary and urgent to impose equivalent measures to the measures implemented by the EU," the Mexican government justified the measure. "Mexico has the right to impose measures that have commercial effects substantially equivalent to those of the measures adopted by the United States."

These taxes implemented by Mexico will apply until the EU stops applying the tariff rates on metals, according to the decree.

The exchange of commercial missiles between the administration of Donald Trump and the Mexican government has a political rather than economic intention behind it, which is escalating into a commercial war and could have serious consequences for both countries, according to Manuel Molano, economist and director of the Mexican Institute of Competitiveness.

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According to other top Mexican economists the Trump measure did not seem to achieve an intimidating effect on the Mexican government. On the contrary, the Ministry of Economy was prepared for the announcement and ready to launch its counterattack: tariffs on flat steel, lamps, pork legs and shoulders, sausages, apples, grapes, blueberries and various cheeses.

In commercial terms, Mexico is the main country for exports from six states in the US: New Mexico, California, Texas, Nebraska, Arizona and Kansas, according to the American Enterprise Institute. These last four entities were won by Trump in the 2016 presidential elections.

Although the response of the Mexican government to Trump's tariffs is overwhelming, the economic impact of these measures goes both ways. The tariff measures could cause an affectation of 4 billion dollars in trade between the two countries, according to an estimate by the Secretary of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo.

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