Republicans Aren’t Going to Stop Trump’s Tariffs on Mexico

Yes, this is California's most famous Kevin. It's embarrassing, but what can you do?Alex Edelman/CNP via ZUMA

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

The news is full of storm and fury from Senate Republicans over President Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on all imports from Mexico, but none of it matters:

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) called on Senate Republicans to support President Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on Mexican exports unless that country does more to try to force action to curb illegal border crossings.

End of the day we should support the president so we can get an agreement so we don’t have tariffs. Them talking about not supporting him undercuts his ability to do that,” McCarthy, who has emerged as a staunch ally of the White House on Capitol Hill, told reporters Wednesday.

Trump’s abuse of his tariff authority should alarm everyone, including Republicans. But it doesn’t. Even if Senate Republicans somehow managed to muster the courage to stop the tariffs and then override a Trump veto, it would all stop dead in the House. There’s no courage there, and no principle either.

POSTSCRIPT: Just to be clear, by “principle” I mean the principle that the United States keeps its word. Both the WTO and NAFTA are designed specifically to prevent countries from using tariffs as generalized weapons of foreign policy, the way Trump is doing. We are signatories to both. Trump can get away with what he’s doing because, you know, who’s going to stop him? But it means that America’s word is worthless and the Republican Party is fine with that.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.