by Sheri Urban
Following president Donald Trump’s threats to hit Mexico with tariff hikes if the country fails to stem the flood of illegal immigrants, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador responded by saying he is now “prepared to reach a deal.”
White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney reaffirmed that Trump is “deadly serious” about levying a 5% tariff on Mexican goods if their government won’t massively step up enforcement on the Southern border.
“He is absolutely, deadly serious,” Mulvaney said, Politico reported. “I fully expect these tariffs to go on to at least the 5 percent level on June 10.”
He described how the White House had been working alongside the Mexican government to encourage immigration forces to block “caravans” of migrants from Central America. But now Trump is about to hit the country where it hurts; the U.S. will no longer tolerate Mexican officials refusing to cooperate.
“The reason we’re doing things people don’t expect is that we’re facing things at the border we never experienced before,” Mulvaney added in a later appearance on NBC. “We’re using extraordinary tools because there is extraordinary circumstances that dictate those.”
The 5% tariff goes into effect this week.
Even that level would be devastating to Mexico’s economy, but Trump is planning even more draconian measures after running out of patience with the massive flow of illegals coming through Mexico.
If Mexico doesn’t fully comply to Trump’s demands, the tariffs will increase each month:
- 10 percent on July 1
- 15 percent on Aug. 1
- 20 percent on Sept. 1
- 25 percent on Oct. 1
Mulvaney said that the Mexico government would need to show demonstrable results in policing their own Southern border, to prove they have met all U.S. demands. — or suffer the tariffs.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said “his country would tighten migration controls to defuse U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on Mexican goods,” according to The Associated Press.
Obrador on Monday sent a team of 8 advisers to Washington to desperately try to hammer out a deal and prevent the tariffs.
Lopez Obrador at first said that the Mexican government has already ramped up immigration enforcement and they are now turning back migrant caravans.
“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 Sunday.
“We’re doing all we can to reach a deal through dialogue,” he added.“We’re not going to get into a trade war, a war of tariffs and of taxes.”
But Trump made it clear those words are not going to be trusted anymore.
Only last week López Obrador slammed Trump saying he is “turning the United States, overnight, from a country of brotherly love for immigrants from around the world, to a bolted space, where there’s stigmatizing, mistreatment, abuse, persecution, and a denial of the right to justice to those who seek — with sacrifice and hard work — to live free from misery.”
Trump ignored the statement, and brutally asked if Mexico was run by the drug cartels:
Only hours later, Obrador changed his tune, promised to increase enforcement, and dispatched his team to D.C.
The plan is working.