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

Salmon Arm Silverbacks and Merritt Centennials split thrilling double-header

One game ended in overtime, the other in a high-scoring final period. Both were a treat for fans.

In Photos: Salmon Arm residents pay tribute

Residents gather at cenotaph for Remembrance Day ceremony

Sockeye salmon return to Okanagan Lake for first time in decades

Restoration of fish ladder damaged more than 50 years ago enables return

Shuswap family makes tradition of tending to grave of fallen soldier

Grandchildren learn importance of Remembrance Day while paying their respect

Community meeting will discuss crime in South Shuswap communities

The meeting will be held on Nov. 27 in Blind Bay.

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

In Photos: Sicamous remembers

A crowd numbering in the hundreds gathered at Sicamous cenotaph on Nov. 11.

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Coquihalla, Okanagan Connector drivers cautioned due to freezing rain

Special weather statement in effect for highways between Hope, Merritt, Kamloops and Kelowna

Summerland council considers change to meeting schedule

Proposal calls for afternoon session and 6 p.m. evening session for regular meetings

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

Most Read