Trump is forging ahead with plans for a wall to keep out Mexicans, examining prototypes and seeking funds from Congress for the project. (I know, he promised Mexico would pay for the wall, but you know what his promises are worth.)
He has also signed an executive order calling for the creation of “a contiguous, physical wall or other similarly secure, contiguous, and impassable physical barrier.”
So I guess we have to take him seriously.
How he plans to deal with rivers like the Rio Grande, mountain ranges like the Madrean Sky Islands, and deserts like the Sonoran remains unclear, as do plans to acquire private land and resettle displaced homeowners.
Of course Trump doesn’t care much about dispossessed landowners, displaced settlers or the havoc his wall will wreak on wildlife and the environment. Loathing of Mexican immigrants is what matters most to him and his followers.
Meanwhile, he is building other barriers as he seeks to shred the NAFTA agreement and impose harsh new restrictions on legal immigration.
Obviously, this approach will hurt America’s economy as existing trade and employment patterns are disrupted.
Also, Canada and Mexico will seek friendlier trading partners. Canada, for example, has already signed major trade agreements with the European Union and the Pacific Rim countries.
Trump’s isolationist policies extend beyond the North American continent. One of the first things he did as president was to back out of the Trans Pacific Partnership and the global environmental pact. And now he is imposing tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.
Is this how he plans to make America great again? Doesn’t he know how isolationist trade policies always turn out? Probably not. He obviously doesn’t study history.