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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IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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