Washington – President Donald Trump gave in today on his threat to close the border with Mexico this week, saying he will now give the neighboring country a year to stop the flow of drugs, or otherwise impose tariffs on his before deciding whether to close the border area.
Six days after threatening to close the common border this week if Mexico did not stop “immediately all illegal immigration” that crosses the country to the US, Trump changed the deadline and the parameters of his warning.
“We are going to give them a term of one year, and if the drugs do not stop, or do not stop for the most part, we will impose tariffs on Mexico and its products, particularly automobiles, and if that does not stop the drugs, we will close the border, “the president told reporters during an act at the White House.
Trump did not explicitly refer to his threat to close the border this week, a warning he was rumored to make an announcement during his Friday visit to the border town of Calexico, California.
But the president did mention several times the new one-year term that he has decided to give to Mexico, and instead of mentioning the closure of the border as an immediate reprisal, he affirmed that this will be posed only after having imposed tariffs on automobiles, if the neighboring country still does not fulfill its demands.
“Mexico understands that we are going to close the border or put tariffs on cars, it will be one thing or the other,” he said.
“If the drugs do not stop, because Mexico can stop them if they want, we will impose tariffs on the cars, the cars are very important, and if that does not work, we will close the border, but I think that will work,” he said. after.
Trump said that the period of one year begins to run “from today,” and said he is not concerned that his threat to impose tariffs interfere with the ratification of the renewed trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, known as T-MEC.
“This is more important to me than the T-MEC,” he said.
The president mentioned the issue of illegal immigration, but did not seem to link it to his threat regarding tariffs and focused instead on drug trafficking, which is another difference from the one-week ultimatum he issued last Friday.
Nor did he cite any reason for the change in the deadline, although he said that, thanks to his threat, “in the last three days, Mexico has been capturing the people on its southern border and returning it to their countries.”
Trump’s threat to close the border provoked strong complaints from numerous businessmen and politicians, who warned of the devastating economic impact that this measure would have on both countries.
Mexico is the third largest trading partner of the United States, with an exchange valued at more than 615,000 million dollars in 2017, and many businesses in both countries depend on the border exchange to manufacture their products, including automobiles.
The US Chamber of Commerce warned this week of “serious economic damage” that would cause disruption of border trade, and several lawmakers from Trump’s party were against the idea.
“Closing the border would have a potentially catastrophic economic impact, and I hope we do not,” Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday.
Trump had already threatened to close the border last October, just before the legislative elections in the United States, but that warning did not have a deadline, like this time, and it was diluted once the appointment with the ballot boxes.
Trump’s retreat on this occasion frees Mexico, for now, of a reprisal for immigration that have suffered the countries of the northern triangle of Central America, which last week ordered to suspend all foreign assistance for the fiscal years 2017 and 2018.
At a press conference in Washington, the ambassador of Mexico in the US, Martha Bárcena, said she had just heard the news and limited herself to highlighting her opposition to the measure that Trump was considering.
“The closure of the border does not benefit anyone, it would have serious damage, not only for the economy of both countries, with especially strong impacts in the border districts, but also in the levels of trust that exist between both countries,” said the ambassador. (EFEUSA)