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

COLUMN: ‘Trudeaumania’ unlikely to strike for third time in Surrey

Surrey has been solidly red the past two years in Ottawa, with… Continue reading

’Wham-bam out the door,’ South Surrey man warns of landscaping solicitor

Resident warns neighbours to be careful of door-to-door salesmen

UPDATE: Man arrested in fatal stabbing near Clayton Heights gas station

Victim pronounced deceased at the scene; RCMP cordon off area

Reach Society granted $20K to help lessen counselling waits

The funds were granted from the First West Foundation’s Envision Financial Community Endowment

Semiahmoo Peninsula outing was for the birds

Dozens of bird species logged during field trip to South Surrey and White Rock waterfront

VIDEO: Langley woman’s security camera records its own theft

Langley family discovers early morning grab was recorded

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Vancouver Giants wrap up prairie road swing with a 4-2 win over Regina

Milos Roman paced the Langley-based Giants with two goals, goaltender David Tendeck made 34 saves

Pearson nets shootout winner as Canucks clip Flyers 3-2

Vancouver picks up second straight home win

Map on Elections Canada website sends Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters to landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

BC Children’s Hospital launches 2 new virtual care sites bringing total to 19 across province

Provincial initiative allows pediatric patients to see health specialists through video

Most Read

l -->