President Donald Trump’s approach to trade policy had set new benchmarks of incoherence and irresponsibility even before his threat to impose escalating tariffs on imports from Mexico — but this latest maneuver takes the cake. The administration plans to harm businesses north and south of the border, and to impose additional new taxes on U.S. consumers, not to remedy a real or imagined trade grievance but to force Mexico to curb migration to the U.S.
This is a radical and disturbing development. The administration is invoking a law that allows it to impose emergency economic sanctions. It’s safe to say that Congress never envisaged that those powers would be used in a case like this.