U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable on immigration and border security at the U.S. Border Patrol Calexico Station in Calexico, California, April 5, 2019. (Xinhua/AFP/Saul Loeb)
LOS ANGELES, June 4 (Xinhua) -- The tariffs threat against Mexico made by the U.S. President Donald Trump "bears no relation to the problem of immigration," Clifford Cobb, editor-in-chief of American Journal of Economics and Sociology, told Xinhua in an interview Tuesday.
The independent economic researcher pointed out that the Trump's actions are solely for political purposes instead of solving the immigration problem, even if the consequences are negative for the people who support him.
Trump said Thursday that he would impose a 5-percent tariff on all imported Mexican goods on June 10 and gradually increase it to 25 percent in October if Mexico does not stop the flow of illegal migration into the United States.
"His only purpose is political -- to show his supporters that he is a man of action. This explains his most recent threat to impose a rising tariff on Mexican goods entering the U.S. unless Mexico 'solves' the immigration problem," he said.
"This is ridiculous on so many levels, particularly since the U.S. has been interfering in Mexican affairs for 150 years and helps to generate the social conditions that create poverty and the need for immigration," Cobb said.
Cobb noted that the same logic applied to the tariffs Trump imposed on imports of Canadian goods in 2018, saying the policy was a disaster that hurt both countries but Trump had no interest in actual results.
"His actions demonstrated to his followers that he can be tough. He then ignored the damage he caused to American consumers and businesses," he said. "Instead of reviewing his punitive use of tariffs, Trump has expanded his targets to Europe, China, and Mexico. In effect, Trump has declared war on the world."
"He is destroying American credibility in the world and hastening the economic decline of the nation. But he does not care. He is acting tough, and that is all that matters in his mind," he added.
Trump's latest move has triggered a huge wave of outcry from politicians, businessmen and scholars, who predicted that the country's economy would be hit heavily by his trade policy.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Trump's close aide, was opposed to the tariffs threat as well. He argued that tariffs on Mexico could jeopardize the ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a proposed replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which is already facing a bumpy road in the Democrat-controlled House, The WSJ cited people familiar with the situation as saying.