Hey Donald, do we have to tariff all our good friends now?

death-valley-pancho-amigo-tariffs2.jpg

Unholstering more tariffs.

Well, the Donald is ripping out his favorite blunt instrument again. Tariffs.

This time they’re not aimed at China, which is his third biggest trading partner.

They’re actually pointed due South to his biggest trading partner by import value (and number 2 by exports, and in total).

That’s right, although I imagine the photo gave it away - its Mexico.

US Census data for March 2019 is tabled below (in US$ billions).

march2019tradingpartners.JPG

According to the White House, tariffs of 5% will start and will escalate to 25% unless Mexico stops the flow of illegal immigrants.

If this goes through, the Donald will finally succeed in getting Mexico to pay for the ‘wall’, bi-lateral trade will decline further, and Europe will probably be next.

Threat, or continuing resolve?

China year-on-year metrics show the way.

Let’s look to see what’s happened to US/Sino trade volume (by value) since before tariffs were introduced, and today.

US Census metrics for March 2018 are tabled below.

march2018trading partners.JPG

When considering both tables, China’s share of US trade has declined from 14.2% in March 2018 to 11.7% in March 2019.

A year on year decline of 18%, mainly due to declining imports.

That’s what a tariff war looks like, Pancho.

Adios Amigo.

Mike


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