Things That Matter

Trump Announces Tariffs Against Mexico And Now Is The Time To Stock Up On Tecate, Tequila, And Avocados

The Trump administration, in it’s latest crusade against immigrants, has announced a new tariff regime against Mexico.

These tariffs are allegedly designed to pressure the Mexican government to further stem the flow of migrants through the country so fewer arrive at the US-Mexico border.

But according to most economists, these tariffs will only be effective at raising the costs of dozens of popular items in the US, from cars and coffee to avocados and electronics.

Trump didn’t mince words in saying he was applying these tariffs to stop “illegal migrants.”

Credit: @realDonaldTrump / Twitter

Racism is the basis for this problematic and ill-informed economic policy that will have major consequences for both Mexico and the US.

The news sent shockwaves across Washington, Mexico, and even international stock exchanges.

Credit: @CNN / Twitter

President Trump’s surprise plan to levy tariffs on all goods imported to the U.S. from Mexico would strike a hammer blow to the US, threatening the economy and all but guaranteeing financial pain for businesses and consumers.

Mexico is the US’s top trading partner. Such a duty would likely raise prices on avocados, beer, and so many other consumer goods. Ditto for auto parts, computer equipment, and other items that are vital to a cross-border economy that’s been stitched together tight by the decades-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The costs of beer – looking at you Modelo and Tecate – will skyrocket along with avocados, tequila, and so much more.

Credit: @BlitheLea / Twitter

Is this the end of avocado toast? Not exactly. But you can expect to definitely start paying more pretty quickly if these tariffs are allowed to take effect.

For their part, the Mexican government has condemned Trump’s latest attack on the country.

Credit: @wolport / Twitter

Mexican officials have condemned President Trump’s proposed tariffs on Mexican goods over illegal immigration into the U.S.

“I tell all Mexicans to have faith, we will overcome the attitude of the U.S. government, they will make adjustments, because the Mexican people don’t deserve to be treated this way,” Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador told reporters Friday, according to Reuters.

“Please, remember that I do not lack valor, that I am not a coward nor timid but rather I act according to principle,” Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador wrote to Trump, adding that “social problems are not solved with duties or coercive measures.”

Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, who was expected to travel to Washington on Friday, said on Twitter that Mexico’s treatment at Trump’s hands is “unfair” and does not make economic sense.

Trump’s new tariff move wouldn’t just hurt the U.S. economy. It would likely harm the Mexican economy, as well.

That could have the net effect of causing more migration to the U.S., further intensifying the issue Trump is seeking to solve.

The greatest partner the US has on border security is Mexico and if Trump really wants to solve the problem, this the exact opposite of what he should be doing.

Trump’s latest move was met with fierce resistance on Twitter.

Credit: @RepCuellar / Twitter

“The president’s threat to impose tariffs on Mexico will only hurt American workers, economic growth and our national security,” Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, wrote on Twitter after Trump announced his move late on Thursday via social media.

Texas Congressman, Joaquin Castro, called out the Texas governor because the tariffs will have outsized consequences on Texas.

Credit: @JoaquinCastotx / Twitter

According to several reports, Texas alone could face more than $20 billion in losses.

Many are very confused as to why the president would pursue such unpopular policies.

Credit: @thehill / Twitter

More than half of those recently polled said they do not support Trump’s trade wars, not against Mexico nor China.

But if it’s one thing we’ve learned over the course of this administration is that Trump himself likely doesn’t understand the actual consequences of his policies.  

Unless members of the GOP finally stand up against this misguided policy, one that is deeply rooted in racism, it will cause issues on both sides of the border.

READ: Trump Administration Proposes New Policy That Could Leave 55,000 Children Homeless

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This Teacher Received A Nissan Pickup Truck Decked Out As A Mobile Classroom

Things That Matter

This Teacher Received A Nissan Pickup Truck Decked Out As A Mobile Classroom

Like students around the world, kids in Mexico have been forced to take school online or tune into programming on public TV in order to learn. But that’s just the kids who are lucky enough to have access to Internet or a TV. Many students live in rural areas and lack the adequate resources to continue their studies amid the global pandemic.

But thankfully, there are many good samaritans out there (aka compassionate teachers) who have invented their own ways to bring the classroom to kids wherever they are.

A Mexican teacher was gifted a decked out pickup truck by Nissan.

Since schools were forced to close last year in April, Aguascalientes special education teacher Nallely Esparza Flores, has been driving four hours a day to educate students one-on-one at their homes from her truck bed, outfitted with a small table and chairs.

News of her project spread across social media, eventually reaching the corporate offices of Nissan México. This week, the company surprised Esparza with the gift of a new pickup truck specially outfitted with a small open-air mobile classroom built into the truck’s bed.

“Today I feel like my labors and the help that we give each day to children and their families is unstoppable,” she said on Twitter Wednesday, sharing photos of her new vehicle. “My students no longer have to take classes in the full heat of the sun,” she said.

Nissan representatives said they decided to give Esparza the adapted NP300 model, 4-cylinder truck after hearing her story because she was “an example of perseverance and empathy.”

“When we learned about the incredible work of this teacher, we got together to discuss in what way we could contribute to this noble work,” said Armando Ávila, a vice president of manufacturing.

The mobile classroom is pretty legit and will allow Esparza to continue her good deed.

Esparza inside her new classroom.

The decked out Nissan pickup truck has three walls (the other is a retractable sheeting) and a ceiling made with translucent panels to protect teacher and student from the elements while letting in natural light.

It also has retractable steps for easy access to the classroom, electrical connections, a whiteboard and an easily disinfected acrylic table and benches that are foldable into the wall to provide space. The table also has a built-in plexiglass barrier to allow social distancing.

Access to education in Mexico is highly inequitable.

Esparza, like many teachers across the country, found that not all distance learning was equal. Many of her students in Cavillo were from poor families without internet access. So she used social media networks to keep in touch with such students via cell phones, but even that was not necessarily an available option for all — and not ideal. Finally, she decided to solve the problem by hitting the road in her pickup truck.

According to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), only 58% of students in Mexico had a home computer – the lowest percentage among all OECD countries. And only about one third (32%) of the school computers in rural schools in Mexico were connected to
the Internet, compared to more than 90% for schools located in urban areas.

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Sen. Ted Cruz Makes Quick U-Turn From Mexico After Outrage He Abandoned His Frozen Texas

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Sen. Ted Cruz Makes Quick U-Turn From Mexico After Outrage He Abandoned His Frozen Texas

Sen. Ted Cruz has faced a series of outrages since being accused of helping to incite the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The latest problem plaguing Sen. Cruz is his trip to Mexico while his constituents in Texas freeze during an extreme weather event.

Sen. Ted Cruz was caught boarding a flight to Mexico as Texans are left freezing.

Texas is being slammed with a historic extreme winter weather storm. Hundreds of thousands of Texans are without power for the fifth day in a row while the senator from Texas was heading off to Cancun. Critics are angered that Sen. Cruz would leave the state while his constituents are forced to boil water to survive one of the worst winter storms on record.

Politicians are calling Sen. Cruz out for leaving his constituents during a natural disaster.

The Castro brothers are speaking up as well. Texans are dying from the extreme weather after the power grid was overloaded from sudden demand. The power outages have lasted for multiple days and the death toll continues to climb from the freezing temperatures. So far, 24 people have died from the winter storm.

Part of the problem is that Texas has their own power grid separated from the rest of the nation in an attempt to avoid federal regulations. The decision was made in the 1930s after President Franklin Delano Roosevelt passed the Federal Power Act. This allowed the federal government to oversee interstate electricity sales. However, Texas utilities did not cross state lines. This created an electricity island.

People are not letting the trip go unnoticed.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is responsible for overseeing the power grid and officials had a grim revelation about the power outages. On Tuesday, ERCOT CEO Bill Magness addressed the media about the power outages.

“We needed to step in and make sure that we were not going to end up with Texas in a blackout, which could keep folks without power — not just some people without power but everyone in our region without power — for much, much longer than we believe this event is going to last, as long and as difficult as this event is right now,” Magness said about the call to cut power to some customers as the icy conditions settled in on the area.

He further explained that some of the power outages could last for an undetermined amount of time.

This is not the first time Texas had weather-induced power outages because of winter weather. The state saw the same situation on a smaller scale play out in 2011. The winter storm in 2011 knocked out power across the state and yet Texas officials did not follow suggestions to prevent the current crisis.

A report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation called on Texas to “winterize” their energy infrastructure. The report highlights how the current infrastructure was not ready to take on the weather it experienced in 2011 and, according to The Texas Tribune, Texas didn’t heed the warning.

On Tuesday, 60 percent of Houston businesses and households remained without power because of the weather.

Sen. Cruz quickly booked a return flight to Houston after the outrage.

Facing mounting anger over his warm escape from Texas, Sen Cruz quickly U-turned back to Houston. He claims to have been accompanying his daughters to Mexico and not going on the vacation himself.

A flurry of tweets about the situation show a growing number of people who are skeptical of the senator’s statement. Ted Cruz was photographed with luggage both in Texas and coming back through the Cancun airport. The luggage has set off a debate about whether or not Sen. Cruz honestly went to Mexico to drop his daughters.

READ: Sen. Joe Manchin Calls On Senate To Expel Sen. Ted Cruz After Insurrection

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