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Trump's latest border tantrum could shut down entire US auto industry

The American auto industry would shut down ‘within a week’ if Trump closes the U.S.-Mexico border, a leading auto industry expert said.

By Emily Singer - April 02, 2019
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Donald Trump

Trump is threatening to close the U.S.-Mexico border over his hatred for immigrants. But if he does, a leading expert pointed out that he could tank the American auto industry — a major sector of the U.S. economy that Trump has ironically bragged about saving.

Kristin Dziczek, vice president of industry, labor and economics at the Center for Automotive Research, said Monday that the U.S. auto industry would shut down “within a week” if Trump actually follows through on his threat to close the border.

“I don’t know why we’re talking about avocados & strawberries (as much as I love both), when the whole flipping auto industry could be shut down in a matter of days if we close the US-Mexico border,” Kristin Dziczek, vice president of industry, labor and economics at the Center for Automotive Research, tweeted Monday night.

The reason for this, she said, is that the U.S. imports about 37 percent of its auto parts from Mexico. That percentage is even higher for certain parts that are essential for building cars; about 80 percent of wiring harnesses, for instance, come from Mexico and other Latin American countries.

Most early news stories about the harms of Trump’s border shutdown threat focused on the agriculture industry, and particularly the fact that the U.S. could run out of avocados in three weeks if Trump does what he says he will. That would be bad, but Dziczek pointed out that it could get much worse.

“You want to know when the next recession will start? You’ll be able to date it to the minute we close the US-Mexico border,” Dziczek said.

Trump first made the threat to close the border on Friday, tweeting that “Mexico must stop illegals from entering the U.S.” or else he’ll shut the border down.

The absurd idea got applause from his supporters at a rally in Michigan that same day.

However, if the border were closed and Dziczek’s prediction was accurate, Michigan — which depends on the auto industry for many jobs — would be hit especially hard.

Even the sycophantic pro-Trump buffoons at “Fox & Friends” understand the dire economic consequences closing the border would have.

“Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade said on Monday that Trump’s move “is going to hurt people” on “both sides of the border — Americans and Mexicans.”

And, fearing the catastrophic impact a border closure would have, officials within Trump’s own administration are trying to cobble together an immigration plan to stop Trump from acting on his worst impulses.

Of course, it’s almost impossible to see any Trump administration-proposed immigration plan passing Congress. The Trump administration tried and failed to pass immigration “reform” when the GOP had unified control of Washington, but his proposal was too racist and draconian even for congressional Republicans.

For now, it seems the country must hope Trump uses common sense and decides against closing the border, or that his notoriously weak advisers can stop him.

Lord help us.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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