Top Trump economic advisor hopeful on US-Mexico tariff talks
Jun 04 2019
Mexico is now on the clock to cut illegal immigration dramatically and the White House's acting chief of staff said Sunday he expects President Trump will follow through on his threat to slap an across-the-board 5% tariff on Mexican goods next week.
Trump threatened 5 percent tariffs on Mexican goods starting June 10, and the penalties would raise periodically until they reach 25 percent in October.
Mexico is one of the U.S.' biggest trading partners, and the new Mexico tariffs complicate the president's goal of creating a revised trade pact between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador struck a conciliatory tone on Trump's tariff threats, saying he expected a "good result" from Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard's upcoming visit to Washington on Wednesday.
"Instead of focusing on one trade deal at a time, the U.S. has overplayed its dominant hand and appears vulnerable to only finalising temporary solutions", he said.
Mulvaney pointed out that the administration has been raising its concerns about undocumented migrants crossing from Mexico into the U.S.
Do I agree with Trump's decision to force Mexico to do something about the illegal crossings in the porous US-Mexico border?
Mexico's economy relies heavily on exports to the United States and shrank in the first quarter.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were both "blindsided" when Trump made the tariff decision, with Lighthizer anxious it could complicate approval of the USMCA agreement by congress, sources told Reuters.
"The Australian situation is interesting but the relationship is very strong", Mr Trump told reporters at the White House. He did not provide details of the plan. China's Commerce Ministry said it "deeply regrets" the USA decision. "We're not going to get into a trade war, a war of tariffs and of taxes". Rights groups argue that leaving asylum seekers in Mexico puts them at risk, since it suffers from similar levels of violence to the places they are fleeing.
Trump tried to further explain that the tariffs are meant to stop the inflow of illegal immigrants and illegal drugs that comes with them.
In a possible sign of USA priorities in the talks, which are due to run through at least Wednesday, acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said on Sunday that Mexico should deploy more personnel to stop migrants along a remote stretch of border with Guatemala.
Those statistics are likely to figure in the Mexican government's argument that it is addressing the problem. The problem is that Mexico is an "abuser" of the United States, taking but never giving.
Trump is pushing Congress to change USA law to make it more hard for the migrants to claim asylum.
As he left for London, Trump said he is "really okay" with going ahead with the new tariff, unless Mexico does more to cut the flow of migrants reaching the USA border.
Ebrard told reporters Monday that Mexico had already prevented 250,000 migrants from traveling to the United States border, and that the only solution to the crisis is a comprehensive development plan for Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, where a lot of them come from.
He did not answer the question, but pressure has grown steadily on his government to give ground on the issue.