Indeed it would be very poignant if México is the linchpin that leads the Republicans to break with Donald Trump. As I wrote earlier, the Republicans do not like trade tariffs as they support open global trade. It was the Republicans – with the leadership of Ronald Reagan – that brought NAFTA to fruition. México is a different place today because of NAFTA. Many Republican constituencies depend on trade with México to keep the coffers full.
Donald Trump insists on imposing punitive tariffs on México so that he can deliver on the signature promise to his constituency – to curtail immigration. With the promised wall floundering, Trump’s inability to get the Democratically controlled house to enact his draconian immigration policies and the fact that ObamaCare remains the law of the land, Trump is desperately trying to deliver on at least one promise.
Against this backdrop is the unending threat of impeachment. This has backed Donald Trump into a situation where he is desperately trying to remain relevant.
The Republicans have weathered the Trump controversies because Donald Trump was delivering conservative judges to the benches, a decades-old GOP dream. The Republicans have allowed the Chinese trade war to continue because it was a small prize to pay for allowing Trump to continue stuffing the legal benches. Besides, the Chinese intellectual property violations were something the GOP wanted to correct.
The GOP was even willing to let slide the ongoing Russian controversies and even the friendliness to the Saudi Arabian government so long as tax reform and government reform on businesses remained a priority along with the legal bench stuffing.
But the punitive tariffs are too much for the Republican constituencies.
And thus, a revolt is starting to manifest itself.
Also, Andrés Manuel López Obrador or AMLO seems to be leaning towards diversifying the Mexican economy while offering the U.S. government token promises on immigration issues to avert the latest trade war. But AMLO remains an enigma as to how far he will go to stand against Trump’s latest tirade.
The next few days will determine whether the GOP irreversibly breaks with Donald Trump.
If the trade tariffs begin to create havoc on the economies such as Texas, I expect that the fracture between Trump and many of the Republicans will intensify.
If that happens, impeachment will certainly be on the table as the only thing holding it back is the GOP-controlled Senate that many Democrats fear will stymie the removal of Trump from office.
Ultimately, if impeachment happens and the GOP breaks with Trump it would be thanks to México standing up to the Trump bully.