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

Invermere council okay with ‘reverse grad march’ idea

Nothing finalized and complications aplenty, but Invermere council agrees to grad march idea

101-year-old man targets 101 block fundraising walk for food bank

A centenarian in Invermere has embarked on a new adventure to raise money for the food bank.

Wings Over the Rockies encourages nature viewing during pandemic

Three local photographers and Wings supporters offer nature viewing tips.

Hospital chief of staff provides guidance on COVID-19 and the Columbia Valley as we open up

Chief of staff says: “COVID-19 … is still here and is not going away any time soon.”

Our community news matters

Guest editorial by Arnold Malone

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

Most Read