Last week, President Trump warned he was going to assign tariffs to Mexico, until they helped stop the flow of illegal migrants into the U.S.
The Guardian reported that President Donald Trump is “deadly serious” about slapping tariffs on imports from Mexico, his chief of staff said on Sunday, even though the president “intentionally left the declaration sort of ad hoc” amidst fears of damage to the US economy if he follows through on his threat.
Speaking to Fox News Sunday, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney acknowledged there are no concrete benchmarks being set to assess whether Mexico is acting to reduce numbers of migrants from Central America entering the US via Mexican territory enough to satisfy the White House.
“We intentionally left the declaration sort of ad hoc,” he said. “So, there’s no specific target, there’s no specific percent, but things have to get better. They have to get dramatically better and they have to get better quickly.”
He said the idea was to work with the Mexican government “to make sure that things did get better.”
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Now, however, it appears that Mexico is hinting that they’ll work with President Trump to stop the flow of migrants to avoid a “trade war.”
As Fox Business explains, Mexico will not be able to handle Trump’s tariffs.
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Mexico’s president on Saturday hinted his country could tighten migration controls to defuse U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on Mexican goods, and said he expected “good results” from talks planned in Washington next week.
Trump says he will apply the tariffs on June 10 if Mexico does not halt the flow of illegal immigration, largely from Central America, across the U.S.-Mexican border.
His ultimatum hit Mexican financial assets and global stocks, but met resistance from U.S. business leaders and lawmakers worried about the impact of targeting Mexico, one of the United States’ top trade partners.
In a news conference in the Gulf of Mexico port of Veracruz, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Mexico could be ready to step up measures to contain a recent surge in migration in order to reach a deal with the United States.
A major Mexican delegation led by Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard will discuss the dispute with U.S. officials in Washington on Wednesday, and Lopez Obrador said he expected “good results” from the talks, and for a deal to emerge.
“The main thing is to inform about what we’re already doing on the migration issue, and if it’s necessary to reinforce these measures without violating human rights, we could be prepared to reach that deal,” Lopez Obrador said.
His comments follow those of Jesus Seade, deputy foreign minister for North America, who told Reuters on Friday that Mexico wanted to sharpen existing measures to curb the flow of Central Americans trying to reach U.S. soil.
Trump’s threat to inflict pain on Mexico’s economy is the biggest foreign policy test to date for Lopez Obrador and a tall order for Mexican authorities struggling not only to contain migration but also to fight record gang violence.
Mexico’s economy relies heavily on exports to the United States and shrank in the first quarter. Under Trump’s plan, U.S. tariffs that could rise as high as 25% this year.
Lopez Obrador said Mexico would not pursue trade wars with the United States, but noted that his government had a “plan” in case Trump did apply the tariffs to ensure the country was not impoverished. He did not provide details of the plan.
“We’re doing all we can to reach a deal through dialogue,” the veteran leftist said. “We’re not going to get into a trade war, a war of tariffs and of taxes.”
He nevertheless noted that Mexico reserved the right to seek international legal arbitration to resolve the dispute.