Trump Is 'Absolutely Deadly Serious' About Mexico Tariffs, Mulvaney Says
Jun 03 2019
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday that the USA tariffs on imported Mexican goods would harm both countries.
A major Mexican delegation led by Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard will discuss the dispute with US officials in Washington on Wednesday, and Lopez Obrador said he expected "good results" from the talks, and for a deal to emerge.
López Obrador said Mexico is not interested in a tariff war, but slammed Trump's tariff proposal as unfair.
A top White House official has said US President Donald Trump is "deadly serious" about slapping tariffs on imports from Mexico.
"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.
Mexico's economy relies heavily on exports to the United States and shrank in the first quarter.
Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard is heading the Mexican delegation, which includes Marquez. Until "the illegal immigration problem is remedied" tariffs will continue to rise monthly, going as high as 25% by October 1.
Lopez Obrador said on Saturday that Mexico would not engage in a trade war, but noted that his government had a "plan" in case Trump did apply the tariffs, without providing details.
The attacks came despite efforts at conciliation by Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who said Saturday that U.S. officials were willing to "reach agreements and compromises".
The National Retail Federation, a renowned retail trade association in the United States, issued a statement on Friday, saying "the growing tariff bill paid by US businesses and consumers is adding up and will raise the cost of living for American families".
He also noted that Mexico reserved the right to seek worldwide legal arbitration to resolve the dispute.
Regarding Mexico, Trump continued to intertwine various policy goals: stopping illegal immigration through the southern USA border with Mexico, ending the flow of unsafe drugs, and boosting job creation - all through the imposition of import tariffs.
Those statistics are likely to figure in the Mexican government's argument that it is addressing the problem.
The U.S. stock market saw losses and business representatives have urged Trump to reconsider.
The group of 1,036 illegal immigrants found in the El Paso sector included migrants from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, according to sources.
The administration wants Mexico to crack down on illicit businesses that profit from transporting migrants through the country on their trip north, allow more migrants to seek asylum in Mexico instead of the United States and stop migrants from entering Mexico from Central America in the first place.
"Others must treat the United States fairly and with respect - We are no longer the "fools" of the past!" he wrote. "American consumers will not pay the burden of these tariffs", he said.
Trump in May raised the tariffs on US$200 billion in Chinese goods to 25% from 10%, an action that's beginning to ripple through supply chains.
He did not answer the question, but pressure has grown steadily on his government to give ground on the issue.
Donald Trump had harsh words for Mexico again questioning the value of talks, days before a high-level delegation from Mexico is expected to meet with USA officials.
"There is willingness on the part of United States government officials to establish dialogue and reach agreements and compromises", Lopez Obrador told a news conference in Mexico City on Saturday.