WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump last week labeled Mexico as an "abuser" of the United States, as he remained resolute in his threat to slap a 5% tariff on Mexican imports unless the country cracks down on migrants trying to cross American's southern border.
Trump in a tweet on Sunday, said that Mexico "could solve the Border Crisis in one day if they so desired." Then threatened that "our companies and jobs are coming back to the USA" if they do not act.
Trump said the tariffs will go into effect June 10.
A team of negotiators from Mexico are headed to Washington to try to explain their country's efforts to control the number of migrants that make it to the southern border of the U.S. and, stave off the tariff on goods headed to the United States.
Trump has threatened that tariffs will increase up to 25% until Mexico makes significant efforts to stem the flow of migration.
According to the White House, Mexico could prevent the tariffs by securing its southern border with Guatemala, cracking down on criminal smuggling organizations, and entering into a "safe third country agreement" that would make it difficult for those who enter Mexico from other countries to claim asylum in the U.S., The Associated Press reported.
"We fully believe they have the ability to stop people coming in from their southern border and if they're able to do that, these tariffs will either not go into place or will be removed after they go into place," acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said in a phone call to reporters on Thursday.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued a statement on Friday afternoon condemning the tariffs, saying that any increase on Mexican goods to the United States would be paid by Americans. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is exploring legal action in response to the tariffs, the group's executive vice president, Neil Bradley, said.
"Imposing tariffs on goods from Mexico is exactly the wrong move," Bradley said. "These tariffs will be paid by American families and businesses without doing a thing to solve the very real problems at the border. Instead, Congress and the president need to work together to address the serious problems at the border."
The Chamber of Commerce released a chart on Friday that showed how much a 5% tariff – and threatened tariffs up to 25 percent – could affect economic growth and jobs across the United States.
Many states have already trying to deal with the fallout of tariffs imposed on China earlier this year. As Mexico has become the top U.S. trading partner, certain states are worried the threat of yet another tariff could put the skids on what has been a robust economy the past two years.
Which states will suffer most if Trump goes through with the plan to impose a tariff on Mexico over its handling of the southern border? Here, from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is a look at how a tariff on goods from Mexico would affect some U.S. states:
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