The chief commercial adviser of the White House, Peter Navarro, said today that “tariffs may not come into force” given that Mexico has already “attracted attention” on the need to stop the illegal migratory flow and to strengthen its southern border with Guatemala.
“We believe that these tariffs may not have to go into effect precisely because we have the attention of the Mexican authorities,” the official said on CNN.
The words of Navarro, one of the most aggressive voices in trade protectionism in the government of President Donald Trump, come hours before the expected meeting at the White House between Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard and Vice President Mike. Pence, to try to reach an agreement before the June 10 deadline.
The Mexican delegation led by Ebrard has been in Washington since Saturday trying to convince the US authorities that the tariffs announced by Trump would be “counterproductive.”
“We are adopting a strong measure that will change the calculations of Mexico (when facing illegal migration.) I am aggressive right now because what President Trump has done is change the game,” Navarro stressed.
Trump announced last Thursday by surprise his decision to apply tariffs to Mexican imports of 5% – and increase taxes gradually up to 25% – if Mexico does not slow the growing migration to its northern neighbor.
President Trump gave until June 10 to negotiate the entry into force of the first tariffs that would affect all imports from Mexico.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Ebrard said that there is an 80% chance that there is “an understanding” with the United States to solve “the significant increase in the migratory flow” and thus avoid the threat of tariffs on Mexican imports.
However, hours later from London, where he was on an official trip, Trump said that “most likely” is that next Monday enter into force the trade tariffs announced to punish Mexico for its immigration policies.
“Mexico should not allow millions of people to try to enter our country, they could avoid it very quickly, I think they will, and if they do not, we will impose tariffs,” the US president said.
Trump hopes that the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador will act on his southern border with Guatemala and in his country to prevent the arrival of Central American migrants in the United States.
The border has been experiencing a crisis for months due to the increasing flow of migrants who cross it, mostly Central American families seeking asylum.
Authorities arrested 98,977 undocumented migrants on the border with Mexico last April, the highest figure in the last six months, and 8,897 of them were unaccompanied minors, according to data published last month by CBP.
With these arrests, there have already been 460,294 arrests of migrants on the border since the beginning of this fiscal year 2019, which began last October.
Currently, the United States is the main trading partner of Mexico, a country that exported products worth 328,000 million dollars between January and November 2018 to its northern neighbor, representing almost 80% of total exports. (EFEUSA) .-