Why Trump Can’t Have Tariffs and More Restrictions on Immigration

By Margaret E. Peters

Assistant Professor, Political Science

The Trump administration recently announced tariffs on 1,300 types of goods from China, including televisions, medical devices and batteries. On a seemingly unrelated note, President Trump also said that he will “send troops” to the U.S.-Mexico border to stop immigrants from crossing illegally.  While these two policies play to Mr. Trump’s base, it will be extremely difficult for Trump to restrict both trade and immigration. As I show in my new book, Trading Barriers: Immigration and the Remaking of Globalization, trade restrictions lead to more open immigration policies and immigration restrictions lead to more imports and offshoring.

Trade and immigration policy affect one another through their impacts on business. Over time, globalization and increasingly lower barriers to trade change the amount and kind of labor businesses need, which changes their level of support for more welcoming immigration policies.

Lower trade barriers are good for many businesses, but they can also cause the closure of companies who tend to be large employers of immigrant workers. When these businesses close, they no longer exist to lobby lawmakers for more open immigration policies. For example: the textile industry was once a major employer of immigrant labor in the U.S. but, since it lost much of its trade protection in 1990, it has shed almost 70% of its workforce. Today, textiles are mostly produced abroad. Not surprisingly, the textile industry went from a major proponent of immigration in the 1950s and 60s to barely showing up to lobby Congress in the 2000s.

Policies that allow companies to move overseas also tend to lower businesses’ willingness to lobby on immigration. Why should businesses fight to bring Chinese workers to the U.S. when they can move their factory to China?

Finally, the pressures of globalization often lead companies to automate their production. With automation, businesses need fewer workers. The U.S. steel industry, which Trump has promised to protect, produces as much steel today as it did in 1960, but it does so with a third of its former workforce. When companies automate, they need fewer workers, and that also tends to make them stop lobbying for open immigration. Together, these trends mean that there has been less lobbying by businesses for immigration and, consequently, greater immigration restrictions.

The effects of globalization and trade openness on immigration mean that Mr. Trump’s efforts to restrict both trade and immigration are unlikely to be successful.  If the administration succeeds in restricting trade and bringing back more manufacturing, don’t be surprised if businesses clamor for more open immigration policies. Since business interests are a powerful lobbying group, Trump will face huge pressure to soften his stance on immigration.

On the other hand, if Trump continues down the path of deporting undocumented immigrants and limiting legal immigration, more and more businesses will close or move. These restrictions will have an especially large effect on employers here in California. A crackdown on undocumented immigrants will lead to much higher farm labor costs. In turn, that might lead more farmers to give up farming (at least in the U.S.) and drive up food imports. Increased limits on high-skill migrants will hurt technology firms, leading more of them to invest overseas. Without access to immigrant labor, then, businesses producing here in America will be unable to compete with businesses abroad.

The Trump administration cannot have it both ways. It can enact new tariffs to bring back manufacturing or enact new restrictions on immigration, but it can’t do both.

Margaret E. Peters is an assistant professor of political science at UCLA and the author of the award-winning book, Trading Barriers: Immigration and the Remaking of Globalization; she can be found on Twitter at @MigrationNerd.

84 replies
  1. https://www.akunpoker88.com
    https://www.akunpoker88.com says:

    If one desires to plan a good holiday, it is advisable
    to do the first sort reservation as a result of rush of the adventurers.
    They can’t stop themselves from screaming whenever they
    have a turn close to dunes of desert. We produce
    an integrated activity and services to all or any International Travelers who visit foreign countries along with domestic for
    a personal tour or Business visit

  2. DroxaDerm
    DroxaDerm says:

    hello there and thank you for your info ? I
    have definitely picked up anything new from right here.
    I did however expertise some technical issues using this web site,
    since I experienced to reload the website lots of times previous to I could
    get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your
    web host is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but sluggish
    loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and can damage your high quality score if advertising and
    marketing with Adwords. Well I’m adding this RSS to my
    email and could look out for much more of your respective exciting content.
    Ensure that you update this again very soon. https://droxadermskintag.com/

  3. average car insurance cost florida
    average car insurance cost florida says:

    Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your site is so cool. I’m impressed by the details that you have on this site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched all over the place and just couldn’t come across. What a great web site.

  4. ra roupas para atacado
    ra roupas para atacado says:

    Hi there are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you need any html coding expertise to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  5. cama mesa e banho
    cama mesa e banho says:

    I haven’t checked in here for a while since I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  6. Tactical Investors
    Tactical Investors says:

    This is the proper blog for anyone who needs to find out about this topic. You notice so much its nearly arduous to argue with you (not that I really would want…HaHa). You positively put a brand new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

  7. Best financial resources for beginners
    Best financial resources for beginners says:

    I enjoy you because of every one of your hard work on this website. Kim really loves conducting investigation and it is easy to see why. I hear all regarding the powerful way you present sensible ideas through your web site and even boost participation from other individuals on that theme so our favorite child is actually starting to learn a lot. Have fun with the remaining portion of the new year. Your conducting a wonderful job.

  8. Stock Market crash 2018
    Stock Market crash 2018 says:

    Do you have a spam problem on this blog; I also am a blogger, and I was wondering your situation; many of us have developed some nice practices and we are looking to exchange techniques with other folks, why not shoot me an e-mail if interested.

  9. follow url
    follow url says:

    I truly enjoy looking through on this site, it holds excellent posts. “We find comfort among those who agree with us–growth among those who don’t.” by Frank A. Clark.

  10. check
    check says:

    I am often to blogging and i really appreciate your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information.

  11. Referenz
    Referenz says:

    When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

  12. what is cif number in sbi
    what is cif number in sbi says:

    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something informative to read?

  13. cs/skini.me
    cs/skini.me says:

    Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your website is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this website. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found simply the information I already searched everywhere and just could not come across. What a perfect website.

  14. best coffee maker 2019
    best coffee maker 2019 says:

    Fantastic goods from you, man. I have have in mind your stuff previous to and you are just too excellent. I really like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you are stating and the way through which you assert it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to stay it sensible. I cant wait to read far more from you. This is actually a wonderful site.

  15. charge 2 and alta hr comparison
    charge 2 and alta hr comparison says:

    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You obviously know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something informative to read?

  16. Judi sabung ayam
    Judi sabung ayam says:

    Aw, this was a very nice post. In thought I wish to put in writing like this moreover – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… however what can I say… I procrastinate alot and on no account appear to get something done.

  17. Judi Bola online
    Judi Bola online says:

    My wife and i have been very fortunate when Edward could finish up his investigation from the precious recommendations he made when using the web pages. It’s not at all simplistic to just possibly be giving away thoughts which often the rest have been making money from. Therefore we fully understand we’ve got the website owner to give thanks to for this. All of the explanations you have made, the simple site navigation, the relationships you can make it possible to create – it’s got all fabulous, and it’s aiding our son in addition to our family know that this article is amusing, which is certainly extraordinarily vital. Thanks for the whole lot!

  18. Judi Poker online
    Judi Poker online says:

    I carry on listening to the news broadcast speak about getting boundless online grant applications so I have been looking around for the most excellent site to get one. Could you tell me please, where could i find some?

  19. Daftar S128
    Daftar S128 says:

    Everyone loves what you guys are up too. This type of clever work and reporting! Keep up the amazing works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to blogroll.

  20. S128 online
    S128 online says:

    Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  21. suplemento testosterona
    suplemento testosterona says:

    Magnificent beat ! I wish to apprentice even as you amend your website, how could i subscribe for a blog website? The account aided me a acceptable deal. I had been a little bit familiar of this your broadcast provided vivid transparent idea

  22. Division Clan
    Division Clan says:

    Heya i am for the first time here. I found this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and aid others like you aided me.

  23. inventhelp review
    inventhelp review says:

    Hello, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog site in Firefox, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, fantastic blog!

  24. làm bằng đại học giả
    làm bằng đại học giả says:

    Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future. A lot of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  25. Digital Drugs
    Digital Drugs says:

    I was curious if you ever thought of changing the layout of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two images. Maybe you could space it out better?

  26. SEO
    SEO says:

    I haven’t checked in here for a while since I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  27. Local SEO
    Local SEO says:

    It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this brilliant blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will share this blog with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

  28. Mehr zum Thema
    Mehr zum Thema says:

    Thank you for every other informative web site. The place else may I get that kind of info written in such an ideal manner? I have a venture that I’m simply now operating on, and I’ve been on the glance out for such information.

  29. company website
    company website says:

    After examine a few of the blog posts on your web site now, and I truly like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark web site list and shall be checking again soon. Pls take a look at my site as effectively and let me know what you think.

  30. Bonuses
    Bonuses says:

    Great goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you’re just too magnificent. I really like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you’re stating and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it smart. I cant wait to read much more from you. This is actually a tremendous site.

  31. about his
    about his says:

    When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *