President Donald Trump boards Air Force One, Sunday, March 24, 2019, at Palm Beach International Airport, in West Palm Beach, Fla., en route to Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Trump says Mexico tariffs ‘likely,’ Mexico predicts a deal

Trump claimed that ‘millions of people’ are entering the U.S. through Mexico

President Donald Trump said he expects to begin hitting Mexico with tariffs next week in a long-running dispute over illegal immigration, while Mexican officials predicted an agreement to avoid the penalties would be reached during upcoming negotiations.

Trump said Tuesday that the parties would try to work something out, but continued to dangle the threat of tariffs to force Mexico’s hand.

“We’re going to see if we can do something. But I think it’s more likely that the tariffs go on,” he said from London, where Trump is on the second day of a state visit to Britain. The president commented during a news conference with outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May.

But Mexico said earlier Tuesday that an agreement was likely to avoid the threatened 5% tariff on Mexican imports , effective Monday.

“By what we have seen so far, we will be able to reach an agreement,” Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said during a news conference at Mexico’s Embassy in Washington. “That is why I think the imposition of tariffs can be avoided.”

READ MORE: White House: Trump ‘deadly serious” about Mexico tariffs

Ebrard said his team will be prepared for a non-agreement scenario despite his optimism that a deal will be reached.

Ebrard arrived in Washington over the weekend to meet Wednesday with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Mexico calls the potential tariff hurtful to the economies of both countries and useless to slow the northbound flow of Central American migrants.

Trump claimed that “millions of people” are entering the U.S. through Mexico and criticized congressional Democrats for not passing new laws.

“But even beyond the laws, Mexico should not allow millions of people to try and enter our country. They could stop it very quickly. And I think they will. And if they won’t, we’re going to put tariffs on,” Trump said.

He added that “I think that Mexico will step up and do what should have been done.”

It is unclear what more Mexico can do — and what will be enough — to satisfy Trump because the United States has not presented concrete benchmarks to assess whether the U.S. ally is sufficiently stemming the migrant flow from Central America.

“As a sign of good faith, Mexico should immediately stop the flow of people and drugs through their country and to our Southern Border. They can do it if they want!” Trump tweeted Monday from London.

Trump’s Republican allies also warn that tariffs on Mexican imports will hit U.S. consumers, harm the economy and jeopardize the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement trade pact that the White House wants Congress to approve this year.

“We need to put our heads together and try to come up with a solution,” Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn warned Monday.

A diplomatic counteroffensive launched by Mexico this week includes a Tuesday meeting of trade negotiator Jesus Seade with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

The tariff threat comes just as the administration has been pushing for passage of the USMCA, which would update the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Mexico and Canada already started the process of ratifying the deal through their own legislatures.

On Monday, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross met with Mexican Economy Minister Graciela Marquez and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue hosted his Mexican counterpart Victor Villalobos.

ALSO READ: Trump family to get red-carpet royal treatment on UK visit

___

Luis Alonso Lugo on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/luisalonsolugo

Luis Alonso Lugo And Darlene Superville, The Associated Press

Just Posted

7th annual Invermere Music Fest

A snapshot of the festival

Elk River reclaims property as its own

Laws make it harder to protect private land than ever before says farmer, local government

Need cash to splash

Radium Sunrise Rotary Club wants to build a splash park in Radium Hot Springs

Kootenay National Park about to turn 100

Ninety-nine years of publicly-accessible wilderness

Kootenay Conservation Program develops online conservation tool

Online toolkit for Kootenay-based services and programs

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Most Read