5th June, 2019
U.S. President Donald Trump is adamant about imposing new tariffs on imports from Mexico to pressure it to clamp down on rising numbers of migrants entering the United States.
In a last-ditch attempt to find a resolution, a Mexican delegation including Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard is set to take part in talks at the White House on Wednesday afternoon, hosted by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence. Trump will be in Europe to commemorate the anniversary of D-Day.
Trump has threatened to increase the tariffs on Mexico to as high as 25% later this year if the Mexican government does not do more to stop the migrants.
The president warned Republicans in Congress not to block his efforts. “I don’t think they will do that. I think if they do, it’s foolish,” he said.
Mexican leaders are expected to show White House officials on Wednesday that they are taking steps to stem the northward flow of migrants, but Trump said the talks might not resolve the issue.
“We’re going to see if we can do something, but I think it’s more likely that the tariffs go on,” Trump said during a state visit to Britain, describing immigrants entering the United States illegally as an “invasion.”
Asked to comment, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told a news conference he was optimistic that a deal on tariffs and migration could be reached.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, speaking at an event in Miami, said of talks with Mexican officials: “Hopefully, we can work out a sensible solution to the border crisis and minimize the economic fallout.”