Canada, Mexico No Longer Pose National Security Threats to the US

We have finally admitted that Canada and Mexico do not represent national security threats:

The United States agreed Friday to lift its tariffs on industrial metals from Mexico and Canada, clearing a major obstacle to congressional passage of President Trump’s new North American trade deal.

….Senate Republicans, including Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the powerful Finance Committee chairman, had said they would not approve the deal while the tariffs were in place. Iowa farmers were among the casualties of Mexican retaliatory tariffs, which cut deeply into U.S. agricultural exports. The Mexican tariffs, and similar Canadian levies, also are being eliminated.

As you can see, this decision had nothing to do with national security, which means it never had anything to do with national security in the first place. I’m sure you are all shocked to hear that.

In any case, this is why it was always ridiculous to think that tariffs would cause American steelmakers to invest heavily in new capacity. It takes years to build a new steel mill, but only minutes to wipe out a tariff. In this case, 20 percent of American steel imports were released from tariffs with the stroke of a pen. (And nearly half of aluminum imports.) Overnight, a new mill that made sense might suddenly not pencil out.

Besides, a temporary increase in capacity utilization from 74 percent to 77 percent was never going to send the green eyeshades set into a money-spending mood in the first place. Only an idiot would base long-term capex spending on politically motivated tariff decisions that could change from one day to the next depending on what Fox & Friends happens to say one morning.

Also worth noting: no tweet! Apparently President Trump isn’t very excited when he removes tariffs, even though that’s what his trade war is allegedly about.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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