President Trump announced his intention to impose a five percent tariff on Mexican imports because of illegal immigration. He vows to keep those tariffs in place until Mexico stops illegal immigrants from entering the U.S. through the southern border.
The proposed move will take effect on June 10 and doesn’t give Mexico a lot of time to react to it. Trump says the levy “would gradually increase until the illegal immigration problem is remedied, at which time the tariff will be removed.” The tariffs could potentially go as high as 25 percent by October 1. The move comes just days after Trump removed the tariffs on steel and aluminum imports that caused direct retaliation against U.S. farm goods. Economists are warning that the move could be extremely negative for both countries.
Bloomberg describes the initial reaction from Mexican officials as “measured.” Mexican President Obrador said in a letter to Trump on Twitter that he “doesn’t want confrontation.” Mexico’s foreign minister and other officials were scheduled to visit Washington D.C. last week in order to come to an agreement.
Mexico’s undersecretary for foreign relations for North America told reporters that Mexico wouldn’t retaliate before discussing the matter with the U.S. However, if Trump follows through on the threat, the undersecretary says that “would be a very serious matter.”