Trump infuriated Mexico and Canada smack in the midst of attempting to get Congressional approval for USMCA, his NAFTA replacement.

The interesting detail of Trump's latest tariff madness is that Trump went against the advice of his top trade adviser.

“Lighthizer is not happy,” an administration official, said. “This is something he’s talked about for a long time but people always talked him out of it.”

A spokesman for Mr. Lighthizer declined to comment.

Navarro Sides With Trump

President Trump’s trade adviser, Peter Navarro, told CNBC that Trump’s threat of new tariffs on Mexico came in response to that country’s “export” of “illegal aliens.”

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin Also Opposed Tariffs

Administration sources say Mnuchin and Lighthizer opposed Trump tariffs on Mexico.

  • The surprise decision to announce the tariff plan came as Trump was “riled up” by conservative radio commentary about the recent surge in border crossings.
  • The opposition to the tariffs by Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Lighthizer marked a rare moment of unity from two top administration officials with starkly different economic ideologies.
  • “Look at what we are trying to do. This is actually a brilliant move by the president to get Mexico’s attention, to get them to help us, because so far they have just been standing by,” Navarro said.
  • The tariff was pushed by adviser Stephen Miller, an immigration hawk, according to a source close to the White House.

Nearly 5 Million US Jobs Depend on Mexico

Texas and California are the top states.

Peter Schiff Chimes In

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What the Heck Happened?

  • Trump took advice from Peter Navarro and Stephen Miller rather than Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
  • Tariffs move USMCA, Trump's NAFTA replacement, firmly in the gutter.
  • 5 Million jobs are at risk.

Three Key Points

  1. There can no longer be any doubt that Trump reacts emotionally, not logically.
  2. Trump is not playing some amazing 3-D mind game, he is an economically illiterate trade fool.
  3. Trump just proved to the world that no deal is safe, even deals he negotiates himself.

Point three is the most crucial. No one can trust Trump.

I firmly believe a recession will do Trump in.

If I am correct, then it is in the long-term interest of countries to react in such a way that steepens any recession.

China may cooperate in that effort.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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