President Trump announced on Thursday that he will be imposing a tariff on all goods from Mexico until they address and stop illegal immigrants from leaving their country and traveling into the United States.
Reuters reports the tariff will start at 5 percent in June before it jumps monthly until Mexico prevents the influx of people entering the US. Trump said he would cap the tariff at 25 percent.
“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 tweeted.
He continued: “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.”
Via a White House statement, Trump added: “For decades, the United States has suffered the severe and dangerous consequences of illegal immigration. Sadly, Mexico has allowed this situation to go on for many years, growing only worse with the passage of time.”
This sustained influx of illegal aliens has profound consequences on every aspect of our national life—overwhelming our schools, overcrowding our hospitals, draining our welfare system, and causing untold amounts of crime. Gang members, smugglers, human traffickers, and illegal drugs and narcotics of all kinds are pouring across the Southern Border and directly into our communities. Thousands of innocent lives are taken every year as a result of this lawless chaos. It must end NOW!
Mexico’s passive cooperation in allowing this mass incursion constitutes an emergency and extraordinary threat to the national security and economy of the United States. Mexico has very strong immigration laws and could easily halt the illegal flow of migrants, including by returning them to their home countries. Additionally, Mexico could quickly and easily stop illegal aliens from coming through its southern border with Guatemala.
From a safety, national security, military, economic, and humanitarian standpoint, we cannot allow this grave disaster to continue. The current state of affairs is profoundly unfair to the American taxpayer, who bears the extraordinary financial cost imposed by large-scale illegal migration. Even worse is the terrible and preventable loss of human life. Some of the most deadly and vicious gangs on the planet operate just across our border and terrorize innocent communities.
Mexico must step up and help solve this problem. We welcome people who come to the United States legally, but we cannot allow our laws to be broken and our borders to be violated. For years, Mexico has not treated us fairly—but we are now asserting our rights as a sovereign Nation.
Reuters reports the tariff “raised the risk of devastating economic relations with the biggest U.S. trade partner for goods. Mexico, heavily dependent on cross-border trade, rose to that ranking as a result of Trump’s trade war with China.”
It is unclear how the tariffs will affect the USMCA deal which intends to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Here’s more from Reuters:
The president’s decision, announced on Twitter and in a subsequent statement, was a direct challenge to Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and took the Mexican government by surprise on a day when it had started a formal process to ratify a trade deal with the United States and Canada (USMCA).
Lopez Obrador responded in a letter he posted on Twitter, calling Trump’s policy of America First “a fallacy” and accusing him of turning the United States into a “ghetto,” that stigmatized and mistreated migrants.
“President Trump, social problems are not resolved with taxes or coercive measures,” he wrote, adding that a delegation led by Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard would travel to Washington on Friday. He did not threaten to retaliate, saying he wanted to avoid confrontation.
Lopez Obrador pushed back against Trump’s assertion that Mexico let immigration happen through “passive cooperation,” saying: “you know we are fulfilling our responsibility to stop (migrants) moving through our country, as much as possible and without violating human rights.”
According to the report, the tariff announcement comes after U.S. border forces apprehended a group of 1,036 migrants at the border. There are currently 80,000 migrants in custody with an average of 4,500 migrants arriving daily, overwhelming border patrol capabilities.