BLINK: Mexico Offers Major Concessions On Border Control As Trump Tariffs Loom
President Trump has repeatedly made himself clear: He will impose tariffs on Mexican goods if America’s neighbor doesn’t crack down on foreigners marching to the U.S. border.
U.S. and Mexican officials have been hunkered down in Washington this week, deep is detailed talks about what Mexico should do to avoid tariffs. Now, a deal appears to be forming.
“U.S. and Mexican officials are discussing the outlines of a deal that would dramatically increase Mexico’s immigration enforcement efforts and give the United States far more latitude to deport Central Americans seeking asylum, according to a U.S. official and a Mexican official who cautioned that the accord is not final and that President Trump might not accept it,” the Washington Post reported.
Faced with Trump’s threat to impose steadily rising tariffs on goods imported from Mexico beginning Monday, Mexican officials have pledged to deploy up to 6,000 national guard troops to the area of the country’s border with Guatemala, a show of force they say will immediately reduce the number of Central Americans heading north toward the U.S. border.
The plan, a sweeping overhaul of asylum rules across the region, would require Central American migrants to seek refuge in the first country they enter after leaving their homeland, the two officials said. For Guatemalans, that would be Mexico. For migrants from Honduras and El Salvador, that would be Guatemala, whose government held talks last week with acting Homeland Security secretary Kevin McAleenan.
Trump has vowed to enact a 5% tariff on Mexican goods coming into the United States if Mexico does not take immediate steps to curb the flow of foreigners to the U.S. border. The tariffs would rise steadily — up to 25% — if Mexico continues to allow the flow.
“On June 10th, the United States will impose a 5% Tariff on all goods coming into our Country from Mexico, until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP,” Trump wrote on Twitter on May 30. “The Tariff will gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied, … ..at which time the Tariffs will be removed. Details from the White House to follow.”
On June 10th, the United States will impose a 5% Tariff on all goods coming into our Country from Mexico, until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP. The Tariff will gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied,..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2019
Already, the threats are working.
Mexico on Wednesday dispatched a special unit made up of 200 military police, immigration agents and federal officers to cut off a group of more than 1,000 migrants from Central America outside the town of Metapa to confront the caravan. State and local police accompanied the team.
On Thursday, Trump — who was in France to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion — once again warned Mexico that it needs to “step up to the plate” to stem the flow of migrants to the U.S. border or face tariffs.
“Mexico has been making, for many, many years, hundreds of mill- — of billions of dollars,” Trump said. “They’ve been making an absolute fortune on the United States. They have to step up, and they have to step up to the plate, and perhaps they will. We’re going to see. They can solve the problem.”
The president also blames Democrats in Congress for failing to secure the border.
“The Democrats — Congress has been a disaster. They won’t change. They won’t do anything. They want free immigration — immigration to pour into our country. They don’t care who it is. They don’t care what kind of a record they have. It doesn’t make any difference. They’re not going to be changing anything. We go to them, we say, ‘Let’s fix the immigration laws.’ They just want it to do badly. The worse it does, the happier they are.
“So that’s the way it is, and, I guess, that’s the way it’ll be until after the election. It’s a disgrace. Because, frankly, we could solve this problem so easy if the Democrats in Congress were willing to make some changes, but they’re not. And that’s the way it is. They want to just ride it out. They want to have a real bad time. They don’t care about crime. They don’t care about drugs pouring into our country. They couldn’t care less. It’s all politics. It’s a vicious business. So that’s the way it is,” Trump said.
The president also said tariffs will be an effective incentive for Mexico to take action.”When you have the money, when you have the product, when you have the thing that everybody wants, you’re in a position to do very well with tariffs, and that’s where we are. We’re the piggybank. The United States is the piggybank. It has all the money that others want to take from us, but they’re not taking it so easy anymore. It’s a lot different,” Trump said.
Talks between U.S. and Mexican officials continue in Washington, but Trump warned that “Something pretty dramatic could happen with Mexico, the tariffs go on — and I mean it, too. And I’m very happy with it. I think a lot of progress was made yesterday, but we have to make a lot of progress.”