Left Hand, Right Hand

By Isaac Cohen*

                  President Donald Trump is undoing with one hand what he has accomplished with the other hand. The US economy closed 2018 and started 2019 with solid numbers. Thanks in large measure to the tax rebate approved in 2017, economic growth in 2018 exceeded 3 percent, unemployment at 3.6 percent was the lowest in half a century and inflation remained under the 2 percent objective set by the central bank. However, despite these strong numbers, confidence is shaken every time tariffs (taxes) are imposed, alleging “security reasons,” against imports from friends and adversaries. The markets shiver and gains are wiped out, as it happened by the end of last year, when markets dipped as a result of the confrontation with China. The same happened last May when the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 6.5 percent, the longest fall in eight years.

                  Last week it was Mexico’s turn, again.  For security reasons, President Trump threatened to impose increasing tariffs (taxes) against imports from Mexico, because allegedly the neighbor is not doing enough to contain the “hordes” of Central Americans who are endangering the security at the southern border. As a result, investors fled the stock market and sought refuge in US Treasury bonds, which strengthened the dollar and hurt exporters. Therefore, one hand is wiping out what the other one has accomplished. 

*International analyst and consultant, former Director ECLAC Washington. Commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Español TV and radio, UNIVISION, TELEMUNDO and other media.

About Ramón Jiménez

Ramón Jiménez, Managing Editor de MetroLatinoUSA.Com (MLN). Graduado de la Escuela de Periodismo de la Universidad del Distrito de Columbia (UDC). Email: [email protected]

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