By Jon Dougherty
White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said on Sunday that Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was willing to ramp up enforcement of illegal immigration through his country as a way to head off a trade war with the United States.
In an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” Mulvaney added that the president was “deadly serious” about imposing steadily increasing tariffs on Mexico, beginning this month at 5 percent on all imported goods, until the country dealt with the streams of migrant caravans and other illegal immigration.
“He is absolutely, deadly serious,” Mulvaney said on the morning news program, according to Politico. “I fully expect these tariffs to go on to at least the 5 percent level on June 10.”
Mulvaney noted further that the administration has been working with the Mexican government “for months,” pushing immigration forces there to turn away “caravans” of migrants from Central America, while also demanding that the Mexican government do more to help abate the migrant crisis.
Now, the chief of staff said, the crisis has grown into an “emergency situation” and the U.S. will no longer tolerate a lack of assistance from the Mexican government.
“The reason we’re doing things people don’t expect is that we’re facing things at the border we never experienced before,” Mulvaney added in a later appearance on NBC, Politico reports. “We’re using extraordinary tools because there is extraordinary circumstances that dictate those.”
After the 5 percent tariffs go into effect in a week, subsequent tariffs will follow including “10 percent on July 1; 15 percent on Aug. 1; 20 percent on Sept. 1; and 25 percent on Oct. 1,” according to White House officials.
Democrats have criticized the White House for starting an ‘unnecessary trade war,’ but of course, the Trump administration fired back by rightfully pointing out that the Donkey Party hasn’t done jack to help the president deal with the border crisis, which, in effect, has helped make it worse.
And besides, POTUS Trump’s approach appears to have gotten the attention of the Mexican president.
The Associated Press reported that AMLO, as he is known, “hinted his country could tighten migration controls to defuse U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on Mexican goods,” and that he plans on engaging the White House in talks this week, which he hopes will be productive.
AMLO insisted, nevertheless, that his government has increased enforcement efforts but that doesn’t explain how tens of thousands of migrants from Central America have been able to transit thousands of miles of Mexican territory unmolested.
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“We’re doing all we can to reach a deal through dialogue,” AMLO noted. “We’re not going to get into a trade war, a war of tariffs and of taxes.”
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