President Donald Trump could decide over the weekend to delay tariffs he's threatened against Mexico over a surge in illegal migration to the US, a top White House aide said, as negotiators from the two countries resume talks in Washington on Friday.
Pence told reporters in York, Pennsylvania, that Trump wanted to see decisive action from Mexico and that the president would be the one to decide whether to impose tariffs on Mexican goods over the issue on Monday.
When asked whether Mexico would strike back in the event of USA tariffs, Lopez Obrador said "all options" were being considered by his government but he did not want talk about possible retaliation for the time being.
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White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Friday that Trump has been in regular contact with Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the negotiations and reaffirmed the USA plans to implement the tariffs.
Mexican and US officials held a second day of talks on trade and migration on Thursday, with markets rebounding on optimism a deal could be close, although it was unclear if Mexican pledges to curb migration flows were enough to persuade the Trump administration to postpone tariffs.
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"Yesterday they came back I think very open to those recommendations and so we're very encouraged as to where the negotiations are going", Pence aide Marc Short said. Those people worry about the negative economic consequences for Americans and believe the tariffs - which would likely spark retaliatory taxes on USA exports - would also hurt the administration politically.
The USA is threatening China in order to impose 25 percent duties on other Goods from China to the value of around 300 billion dollars - then all Chinese imports into the US would be occupied with criminal duties.
"The meetings have gone well, but, as of now, we're still on track for tariffs on Monday", she added. And the United States would send Honduran and Salvadoran asylum applicants to Guatemala, whose government held talks with acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan last week.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard confirmed reports suggesting that the country would deploy thousands of National Guard members to its southern border in a bid to contain the flow of migrants seeking to cross into the United States through the Mexican border.
He has faced significant pushback from his own Republican Party over the tariffs, with many lawmakers concerned about their potential impact on cross-border trade and on USA businesses and consumers.
Last week, Trump said Mexico must take a harder line on migrants or face 5% tariffs on all its exports to the United States from June 10, rising to as much as 25% later this year. Trump has been seething for months about the spike in migrants trying to cross the southern border and has proposed a series of increasingly radical solutions, including completely sealing the U.S. -Mexico border and renewing his controversial family separation policy.
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Pence, who led the discussions Wednesday with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other USA officials, told reporters in Pennsylvania that the administration had "made it very clear that our neighbors to the south, Mexico, must do more to end the tide of illegal immigration that is besetting our southern border". The tariffs may, or may not, solve the border crisis.
If the tariffs go ahead, the United States would be in a serious trade dispute with both China and Mexico - two of its three top trading partners.
The United States may delay imposing new tariffs on Mexican products.
Republicans in Congress have warned the White House that they are ready to stand up to the president to try to block his tariffs, which they worry would spike costs to U.S. consumers, harm the economy and imperil a major pending U.S. -Mexico-Canada trade deal.
White House officials appeared to deliver mixed messages as they awaited Trump's return to the White House. Only on Wednesday, soldiers and police officers had placed around 600 migrants from Central America in the southern state of Chiapas fixed.
McConnell hopes tariffs on Mexico don’t kick in
Trump is threatening to impose a 5% tariff on Mexican imports next week unless the country does more to stem illegal migration. Using the $7.7 billion in imports as a baseline, the Chamber says a 5 percent tariff would amount to a $385 million impact.