United States warns Mexico tariffs imminent as migration row simmers

Ann Santiago
June 8, 2019

Mexican and U.S. officials are set to resume talks in Washington on Thursday aimed at averting an imposition of tariffs on Mexican goods, with U.S. President Donald Trump saying "not enough" progress on ways to curb migration was made when the two sides met on Wednesday.

"Imposing tariffs on Mexico does not address the root causes of migration and jeopardizes our shared economic interests", the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its Mexican counterpart, the Business Coordinating Council, said in a joint statement.

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"They've made a lot of progress", Sanders said. "I think we are advancing".

Mexico has long resisted that request.

"If no agreement is reached, tariffs at the 5% level will begin on Monday, with monthly increases as per schedule", the president said.

But Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, who was to meet with Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and others, said Tuesday he thought tariffs could be avoided.

The Vice President said that President Donald Trump "is going to stand firm" until what he sees as an immigration crisis is resolved.

In a series of tweets and remarks over the past week, Mr. Trump vowed to impose a series of escalating tariffs on Mexican imports until Mexico might perchance well perchance presumably furthermore cease the surge of migrants, in particular those from Central The US, pressing to sinful the border.

"The stance of the United States is focused on measures of migratory control, ours on development", he said.

Mexico is the world's biggest exporter of beer, selling $3.6 billion worth to the USA last year, along with $2 billion in avocados and $2 billion in tomatoes.

A sudden shift to tariffs on "all" Mexican products, as Trump has threatened, would overwhelm the companies that move imports through US customs checks, according to Eduardo Acosta, vice president of R.L. Jones Customhouse Brokers in San Diego.

The idea of declaring a second national emergency was first introduced by White House officials earlier this week during a meeting with Republican lawmakers, according to The Hill.

Central American migrants get on train carriages in an attempt to make their way to the United States border, in the municipality of Arriaga, Chiapas, Mexico, on April 25, 2019.

The U.S., however, has not proposed any concrete benchmarks or metrics to assess whether Mexico is sufficiently stemming the migrant flow from Central America.

But in the United States capital, negotiators holding a second day of talks were still trying to find agreement on issues including asylum application procedures and financial aid to the Central American countries that are the source of most of the migrants. The officials were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

"This afternoon I will be able to share a more concrete vision of where we are", he said, adding: "We are advancing".

The U.S. president has threatened to continue raising the tariffs on Mexico after the initial levies go into effect on June.

The U.S. Border Patrol's apprehensions of migrants at the border hit the highest level in more than a decade in May: 132,887 apprehensions, including a record 84,542 adults and children together, 36,838 single adults and 11,507 children traveling alone.

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