International Trade expert Leonardo Gonzalez Dellan, has expressed deep worries about the growing global trade wars. “Everyone benefits from Free Trade and everyone suffers from protectionism”, he argues, “But this is especially the case for the Food Sector in Latin America. We need export markets and we need to ensure that this tit for tat conflict does not become a prolonged confrontation.”
Mexico has imposed retaliatory tariffs on US cheese, steel, bourbon, and pork, as well direct matching tariffs to those imposed by the US on steel last week. Trump cited national security on June 1 when he imposed a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on aluminium imports from Mexico, Canada and the European Union (EU).
The inclusion of Mexico highlighted that the trade wars that the American administration has embarked on include Latin America. Mexico was quick to respond at the WTO and has now imposed these new tariffs. It is a natural impulse for governments in trade wars to look for confrontational responses. Following the G7 and his repudiation of the agreed communique, Trump has escalated things even further. Dellan argues that Latin American should do two things: “Firstly, we must try to open more and more lines of communication with Trump, use the Lima Group and the Pacific Alliance and see if exceptions can be negotiated. Secondly, we need to trade much more with each other and protect the Free Trade of Latin America. If the rest of the world is going to disappear behind tariffs then lets stay open with each other and increase the trade between ourselves.” Leonardo Gonzalez Dellan is a free trade advocate and entrepreneur.