Recently, President Trump has imposed a 5% tariff on Mexico for the country's unwillingness to solve a "supposed" illegal immigration problem at the U.S. southern border. He has detailed that these tariffs will gradually increase until the "problem" is solved.
As a bit of a background, a tariff is a tax or duty to be paid on a particular class of (in this case) imports. So, because of this declaration from Trump, Mexico must now pay an additional 5% tax on all of the goods imported from them that we as Americans enjoy.
Now, what exactly do we get from Mexico? Well, according to CBS News...
"The U.S. imported $372 billion worth of products from Mexico in 2018, more than our trade total with Canada."
"'U.S. trade with Mexico is basically all about cars,' said one expert, with the U.S. importing $93 billion worth of cars or car parts last year, including $22 billion worth of car engines, $5 billion in car seats and $5 billion in chassis."
"Second to cars is tech equipment, including $26 billion of computers and computer parts, semiconductors, and software."
"Americans also imported $6.7 billion worth of vegetables and $5.3 billion of fruit and nuts from Mexico"
How does that make sense? We are punishing a neighboring country for exporting goods that improve the wellbeing of all Americans that consume these goods. Yes, it is incredibly backward. Tariffs that are imposed, such as this one, dramatically harm the everyday, average Americans.
Not only that, but if Trump is to stay true to his "free market" ideals regarding trade, he would understand that the government (himself) deciding who specifically is allowed to create value for a country is cronyism and only benefits the wealthy special interests rather than the people he is supposed to be representing; the American people.
But who can blame Trump? This is something he has done his entire career as a businessman. He has looked out for himself, his bottom line, his personal wealth, and his profitability which leads to a conflict of interest in decision making, not the value and common good.
You want a politician who is continually looking out for the wellbeing of Americans? Look at Bernie Sanders. Recently he visited the annual Wal-Mart shareholders meeting to propose that they hear employees out, put a representative on the board of directors, and finally stop paying their workers a starvation wage, a wage that leaves their workers unable to afford the basic necessities of life.
The difference between the two could not be more clear.
Trump's Interest: Wealth
Bernie's Interest: People