Washington: Representatives of the United States and Mexico on Wednesday failed to reach an agreement on the immigration issue during high-stakes negotiations held at the White House, days before Washington would start imposing five per cent tariffs on all goods coming in from Mexico.
Shortly after the meeting, US President Donald Trump took to Twitter to inform that “not nearly enough” progress has been made in the negotiations while reiterating that in case no agreement is reached between the two sides, the tariffs would begin on Monday “as per schedule.”
“Immigration discussions at the White House with representatives of Mexico have ended for the day. Progress is being made, but not nearly enough! Border arrests for May are at 133,000 because of Mexico & the Democrats in Congress refusing to budge on immigration reform,” Trump tweeted.
“Further talks with Mexico will resume tomorrow with the understanding that, if no agreement is reached, Tariffs at the 5 per cent level will begin on Monday, with monthly increases as per schedule. The higher the Tariffs go, the higher the number of companies that will move back to the USA!” he said in another tweet.
On May 30, the US President had unveiled his plan to levy tariffs on the goods coming in from Mexico if the country does not step up its enforcement actions.
In a statement, US warned that if Mexico did not act as Trump demanded, the first round of tariffs would begin on June 10 at five per cent “on all goods imported from Mexico”. Tariffs would then go up to 10 per cent by July, 15 per cent by August, 20 per cent by September and reach 25 per cent by October if the demands aren’t met.
The statement mentioned that Trump would carry out his threat under authority from the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and that he would lift tariffs only “if the illegal migration crisis is alleviated through effective actions taken by Mexico”.
Trump has repeatedly claimed that there’s an influx of drugs and criminals from its southern border with Mexico. He has used these claims to justify and press for the construction of a wall on the US-Mexico border.
The fresh threats come at a time when the US is already locked in a trade dispute with China.