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

Treasure in Lone Butte: woman discovers time capsule while metal-detecting

A White Rock woman is eager to complete a South Cariboo treasure hunt from 2002

Three local schools see registration numbers drop for 2019-2020 school year

Despite some local schools experiencing a registration drop, others saw their student body increase

From the archives of the 100 Mile Free Press

35 years ago (1984): Incumbent Progressive Conservative candidate Lorne Greenaway was swept… Continue reading

Studio 2 Studio showcases South Cariboo art, raising funds for a worthy cause

70 people embarked on the self-guided art tour in support of the South Cariboo Health Foundation

100 Mile House Wranglers still building roster

‘We’re going to add some pretty fantastic players’

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

Most Read