Mexican delegation in US for talks over Trump tariff threat

World Today

Talks between Mexico and the U.S. are underway in Washington after last week’s threat by U.S. President Donald Trump to impose tariffs if the flow of migrants isn’t slowed.

Mexico’s foreign minister is leading the negotiations and says both nations can reach an agreement before Trumps’ June 10 deadline. A five percent tariff is set to be imposed unless Mexico meets as yet unspecified demands. CGTN’s Nathan King explains.

As U.S. President Trump left for Europe, the Mexican foreign minister flew in hopeful that despite U.S. threats, a compromise can be found to avert tariffs and another one of Trump’s trade wars.

“Slapping tariffs, along with the decision to cancel the aid programs to the northern Central American countries, could have a counterproductive effect and would not reduce the migration flows,” Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said. “Tariffs could cause financial and economic instability which means that Mexico could reduce its capacity to address migration flows and to offer alternatives to the new migrants who have recently arrived in Mexico.”

The U.S. president has been frustrated with the lack of success he’s had in tackling illegal migration. A key campaign pledge to build a wall along the southern border and have Mexico pay for it has failed- and draconian immigration policies have led to a spike in detained immigrants including children held for long periods of time. There have been several deaths. There has also been a spike of asylum seekers traveling from Guatemala and Honduras.

While Trump will be out of the country for the negotiations, he tweeted before he left:

“Mexico is sending a big delegation to talk about the Border. Problem is, they’ve been “talking” for 25 years. We want action, not talk. They could solve the Border Crisis in one day if they so desired. Otherwise, our companies and jobs are coming back to the USA!”

U.S. businesses don’t agree with their president. They know that any tariffs will hit the U.S. side of the border hard and could upset complex supply chains from autos to avocados.

Legal challenges to Trump’s tariff threat against Mexico are expected. Never before has a U.S. president used the threat of tariffs under emergency powers to stem the flow of illegal migrants. However, these threats are familiar to those nations whose cars and cell phones are now also considered a threat to U.S. national security.