According to new reports, the Trump administration is planning to levy tariffs against Mexico, should the country fail to address the growing number of Central American migrants illegally entering the US, as well as demanding asylum.
On Thursday, Trump hinted at a Friday announcement regarding plans to address the border crisis, including tariffs, as the crisis at the southern border worsens.
Trump has previously threatened Mexico with tariffs against their automotive industry, and has continued to pressure the nation while negotiating over trade.
Touting his plans on Thursday, Trump said his Friday announcement “will be a statement having to do with the border, and having to do with people illegally coming over the border, and it will be my biggest statement so far on the border.”
From The Hill:
The Trump administration is reportedly preparing to threaten Mexico with tariffs unless the country does more to limit the number of Central American migrants applying for asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The report by the Post follows an earlier report by Politico that the administration is planning to limit Central American immigration by banning asylum claims from people who had resided in any nation other than their home country.
Both reports were attributed to unnamed administration officials, and followed Trump’s apparently impromptu claim that he is planning to make his “biggest statement” yet on the border.
“It will be a statement having to do with the border and having to do with people illegally coming over the border and it will be my biggest statement so far on the border,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
The plan to impose tariffs comes as Trump starts the process of getting the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA), the administration’s renegotiated version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), approved by Congress.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador also moved forward with USMCA ratification Thursday, asking the country’s Senate to open a special session to ratify the agreement.
In April, Trump gave a “one-year warning” to Mexico, threatening to impose automotive tariffs and shut down the border if drug trafficking and immigration were not sufficiently addressed.
Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard is due to visit Washington in June to meet both with congressional leaders on passage of the USMCA and with administration officials to address other issues, including border security and migration.
According to the Washington Post, a top White House official said there is consensus within the administration of the need to push Mexico further on migration.