Nobody Likes Trump’s Mexico Tariff Scheme
My take: Congressional Republicans are threatening to block the president’s 5% threat before the current June 10th implementation date. Mexico (while teasing retaliation and/but pledging to negotiate and looking to appease Trump) is banking on high-level Wednesday talks in DC to defuse the situation. The Chamber of Commerce and other business groups are barking that the tariff gambit risks both economic pain and passage of the new Mexico/Canada trade deal.
Administration officials trying to calm the situation by claiming the tariffs don’t imperil the trade pact are wrong. While there remains patience on Capitol Hill to see if Trump can “win” his trade war with China, the disruption the president threatens in North America has overloaded the circuits for too many members of Congress whose constituents would suffer greatly if the tariffs are imposed.
The most likely outcome right now: Trump pockets whatever concessions he can garner out of Wednesday’s talks with Mexico regarding controlling illegal activity on the border, drops the threat, and goes back to the (still) difficult task of trying to convince Speaker Pelosi to support the overall trade deal. And back to his war with China.
Anti-Trust Boomlet Goes Boom
My take: Google, Facebook and others will have to lawyer up and lobbyist up to deal with subpoenas, investigations, hearings, and eventually possible breakup attempts. But officials in both branches of government still haven’t grappled with the reality that consumers like their free products and depend on them. Many citizens discount privacy concerns and won’t look kindly on any fallout that could lead to a change in services. Lots of money is about to be spent on both sides and there will be embarrassing and questionable disclosures. But we are a million miles away from any meaningful anti-trust-driven actions.
Clyburn Walks Back Sunday Impeachment Talk
Number 3 House Democrat gets back in line with Pelosi in waving off the prospects of beginning the process any time soon.
My take: The toothpaste went back in the tube. Clyburn’s original remarks made it seem like a big crack in the Democratic leadership that presaged unprecedented pressure on Pelosi to bow to the minority of the majority and move to impeachment pronto. With purpose and implication, the South Carolina congressman restored the status quo ante with his Monday comments: Pelosi and her deputies want to keep the investigations going, but still see formal impeachment hearings as a political loser that would help Trump.
The Republican Party has 99 problems. Here is a big one.
My take: The key paragraph in this must-read David Brooks’ column, “According to Pew, 57 percent of millennials call themselves consistently liberal or mostly liberal. Only 12 percent call themselves consistently conservative or mostly conservative. This is the most important statistic in American politics right now.”
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