News

World

Mexican Officials Warn Trump Tariffs Could Exacerbate Immigration Problem

Migrants, en route to the United States, make their way to San Pedro Tapanatepec from Mexico, October 27, 2018. (Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

Mexican diplomats warned Monday that the Trump administration’s threat to impose tariffs on all Mexican imports to the U.S. until the country does more to control the flow of illegal immigrants could have the opposite effect of exacerbating the situation at the southern border.

The move may well be “counterproductive,” said Mexican ambassador to the U.S. Martha Barcena during emergency talks in Washington, D.C. on Monday. “Without Mexico’s efforts, an additional quarter million migrants could arrive at the U.S. border in 2019.”

Trump’s announcement, made at the end of last month on Twitter, called for a 5 percent tariff on all products from Mexico to take effect on June 10 and continue until “the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied.” The U.S. will progressively raise tariffs to 25 percent by October if Mexico refuses to take action on immigration, according to the White House.

“Slapping tariffs, along with a decision to cancel aid programs to the northern Central American countries, could have a counterproductive effect and would not reduce migrations flows,” Mexican foreign-affairs secretary Marcelo Ebrard said. “The tariffs could be very costly for the U.S. economy, for consumers in the United States, and the Mexican economy.”

Mexico’s agriculture secretary, Víctor Manuel Villalobos, said a 5 percent tariff on Mexican products headed to the U.S. would cut such trade by $1.4 billion annually.

Mexico is “willing to continue to work with the U.S. to address issues of common concern,” Ebrard said. “We believe our countries can reach a deal on how to face a matter on which our approaches are different.”

The officials also highlighted Mexico’s current efforts to control illegal immigration to the U.S., with Barcena noting that the country has deported more than 80,000 migrants back to their countries of origin. Mexico is also allowing nearly 9,000 migrants to stay in Mexico as they await asylum hearings in the U.S., and hosting another 18,000 migrants who plan to apply for asylum as soon as availability allows.

“There is a clear limit to what we can negotiate,” Barcena said. “And that limit is Mexican dignity.”

“They’ve been ‘talking’ for 25 years. We want action, not talk,” Trump said Sunday on Twitter of the upcoming talks. “They could solve the Border Crisis in one day if they so desired. Otherwise, our companies and jobs are coming back to the USA!”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to meet with the Mexican officials Wednesday.

Most Popular

The Trail Leading Back to the Wuhan Labs

It is understandable that many would be wary of the notion that the origin of the coronavirus could be discovered by some documentary filmmaker who used to live in China. Matthew Tye, who creates YouTube videos, contends he has identified the source of the coronavirus — and a great deal of the information that ... Read More

The Trail Leading Back to the Wuhan Labs

It is understandable that many would be wary of the notion that the origin of the coronavirus could be discovered by some documentary filmmaker who used to live in China. Matthew Tye, who creates YouTube videos, contends he has identified the source of the coronavirus — and a great deal of the information that ... Read More
Film & TV

America’s Favorite Movie

For more than a decade, readers volunteering their ratings on the movie site IMDb have declared The Shawshank Redemption (1994) their favorite film of all time. (Number two is The Godfather). Unlike the unholy tablets that are the box office charts, which are strongly linked to marketing budgets and show a ... Read More
Film & TV

America’s Favorite Movie

For more than a decade, readers volunteering their ratings on the movie site IMDb have declared The Shawshank Redemption (1994) their favorite film of all time. (Number two is The Godfather). Unlike the unholy tablets that are the box office charts, which are strongly linked to marketing budgets and show a ... Read More
World

All Signs Point to China

Just one big story today: collecting and sorting through what we know about the coronavirus's origins, and what makes sense and what doesn’t in the theory that it originated from someone eating bats or pangolins from the Huanan Seafood Market. What We Know and What We Don’t Know about the Source of ... Read More
World

All Signs Point to China

Just one big story today: collecting and sorting through what we know about the coronavirus's origins, and what makes sense and what doesn’t in the theory that it originated from someone eating bats or pangolins from the Huanan Seafood Market. What We Know and What We Don’t Know about the Source of ... Read More
Media

The Media Owe Senator Tom Cotton an Apology

One of the biggest issues people have with the mainstream press these days is that some of its members are so insulated that they end up buying into and promoting false narratives without actually checking these narratives' veracity. That seems to be exactly what happened in mid February, when major outlets ... Read More
Media

The Media Owe Senator Tom Cotton an Apology

One of the biggest issues people have with the mainstream press these days is that some of its members are so insulated that they end up buying into and promoting false narratives without actually checking these narratives' veracity. That seems to be exactly what happened in mid February, when major outlets ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Welcome Back, Plastic Bags

Single-use plastic bags are a miracle of modern technology. Cheap, light, convenient, and ubiquitous, they provide an elegant solution to a problem. If you recycle them, as most people do, and put your rubbish in them, that creates a net reduction in carbon emissions compared with buying the heavier, thicker ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Welcome Back, Plastic Bags

Single-use plastic bags are a miracle of modern technology. Cheap, light, convenient, and ubiquitous, they provide an elegant solution to a problem. If you recycle them, as most people do, and put your rubbish in them, that creates a net reduction in carbon emissions compared with buying the heavier, thicker ... Read More