President Donald Trump visits a new section of the border wall with Mexico in Calexico, Calif., Friday April 5, 2019. Gloria Chavez with the U.S. Border Patrol, center, and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen listen. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

White House: Trump ‘deadly serious” about Mexico tariffs

The U.S. says these tariffs will be separate from the trade deal with Canada

A top White House official said Sunday that President Donald Trump is “deadly serious” about slapping tariffs on imports from Mexico but acknowledged there are no concrete benchmarks being set to assess whether the U.S. ally was stemming the flow of migrants enough to satisfy the administration.

“We intentionally left the declaration sort of ad hoc,” Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“So, there’s no specific target, there’s no specific per cent, but things have to get better,” Mulvaney said. “They have to get dramatically better and they have to get better quickly.”

He said the idea is to work with the Mexican government “to make sure that things did get better.”

Trump claims Mexico has taken advantage of the United States for decades but that the abuse will end when he slaps tariffs on Mexican imports next week in a dispute over illegal immigration.

Trump tweeted Sunday: “America has had enough.”

The president said last week that he will impose a 5% tariff on Mexican goods on June 10 to pressure the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to block Central American migrants from crossing the border into the U.S.

Trump said the import tax will increase by 5% every month through October, topping out at 25%.

“He’s absolutely, deadly serious,” Mulvaney said.

Mexican officials are due to meet later this week with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a bid to come to a resolution.

Mulvaney, who also spoke Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said Mexico could take various steps to decrease the record numbers of migrants at the border.

He suggested the Mexican government could seal its southern border with Guatemala, crack down on domestic terrorist organizations and make Mexico a safe place for migrants seeking to apply for asylum.

“There are specific things that the Mexicans can do,” he said on Fox.

Economists and business groups are sounding alarms over the tariffs, warning they will hike the costs of many Mexican goods Americans have come to rely on and impair trade.

But Mulvaney downplayed those fears, saying he doubts business will pass on the costs to shoppers. “American consumers will not pay the burden of these tariffs,” he said.

He also suggested the tariffs were an immigration issue, separate from the trade deal the United States is trying to negotiate with Mexico and Canada.

ALSO READ: Trump lashes special counsel after he says no exoneration

ALSO READ: Trump faces mounting foreign policy challenges around world

Lisa Mascaro And Hope Yen, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Two Campbell River First Nations advance to final stage of treaty negotiation

The Campbell River-based Wei Wai Kum and Kwiakah First Nations have signed… Continue reading

City of Campbell River to replace pumper truck at No. 2 Hall

Old truck to be moved into reserve roll for five years before decision is made on disposal options

Vehicles collide on Highway 19 in North Campbell River

Emergency crews tend to the occupant of a vehicle involved in a… Continue reading

Campbell River Art Gallery receives major funding from the Canada Council for the Arts

The Campbell River Art Gallery (CRAG) received a funding increase of $124,000… Continue reading

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Ferries employees participating in Denman Island cleanup for plastic-shedding ferry

The cleanup comes a few weeks after one organized by residents of the Island

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Most Read