South Asian Insider
Opinion and Editorial
Trump threatens swift but vague action against Mexico
(Insider Bureau)- President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened to take action against Mexico in the near future, claiming the country's southern neighbor is doing "virtually nothing" to curb illegal migration to the United States.
"I am very disappointed that Mexico is doing virtually nothing to stop illegal immigrants from coming to our Southern Border where everyone knows that because of the Democrats, our Immigration Laws are totally flawed & broken," the president wrote on Twitter. "Mexico's attitude is that people from other countries, including Mexico, should have the right to flow into the U.S. & that U.S. taxpayers should be responsible for the tremendous costs associated w/this illegal migration," he continued. "Mexico is wrong and I will soon be giving a response!"
Trump last month backed off a threat to close the U.S.-Mexico border, an about-face from previous declarations that he would shut down traffic between the two countries if Mexican leaders were unable to stem the flow of migrants crossing into the United States.
After Republicans, business groups and some of his own aides warned of the dire economic consequences a border closure could bring, Trump said he would instead give Mexico a "one-year warning" to stop the flow of drugs into the United States.The same day in April, he also pledged to impose auto tariffs on Mexico before taking the more drastic step of shutting down the border.
"Before we close the border, we'll put the tariffs on the cars," Trump told reporters at the time. "I don't think we'll ever have to close the border."
Trump's latest warning comes days after he lifted steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexico and Canada, marking major progress in efforts to finalize a new North American trade pact. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle had warned that leaving the tariffs in place would cause major hurdles to U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on Capitol Hill. Passing the new trade agreement would provide the president momentum heading into the 2020 election, allowing him to tout the fulfillment of the promise to replace NAFTA, which he has claims puts U.S. workers in unfair competition with lower-wage Mexican workers.
The deal also moved a step forward amid an escalating trade war with China that poses significant economic ramifications for American consumers - but could benefit Mexico, whose geographic proximity makes it particularly well-suited to seize the opportunity to produce goods previously made in China.
But immigration and border security - top issues on Trump's agenda since the 2016 campaign - have the potential to complicate trade negotiations.
Trump has characterized the arrival of migrants at the borders as an "invasion" and last month seemed particularly fixated on the issue after reported surges in the number of people arriving at the southern border from Mexico and Central America.
The president has repeatedly called on top immigration officials to toughen the process for seeking asylum in the United States. He has also repeatedly launched verbal attacks on Mexican leaders for doing too little to address the issue.
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