In a further attempt to stop the Central Americans entering our country from Mexico, President Trump said Thursday he would impose a 5 percent tariff on all Mexican goods until the local government takes actions to stop immigration.
The punitive measure enters into force June 10, the President wrote on Twitter, highlighting the tariff would increase gradually until the immigration issue is resolved.
As the acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney explained in more details, the tariff would jump to 10 percent as of July 1. If the issue is still persistent by August 1, the tariffs go up to 15 percent to reach 20 percent on September 1 and 25 percent on October 1.
Mulvaney emphasized that the American citizens are now paying for what is happening at the border. It already affects our economy, Mulvaney added.
Kevin McAleenan, the acting Homeland Security secretary, echoed Mulvaney's words saying that Mexico should improve its operational security at the border.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador sent a letter to his American colleague to oppose the tariffs saying that American cannot resolve social issues with imposing taxes or coercive measures.
López Obrador also added that The Statue of Liberty was not an empty symbol and called the motto ''America First'' a fallacy.
According to Jésus Seade, Mexico's undersecretary for foreign relations and the country's chief trade negotiator, the new tariffs were ''disastrous.'' Seade urged Mexico to respond ''energetically.''
The trade representative's office estimated that U.S. imports of goods from its southern neighbor amounted to $346.5 billion in 2018.
Typically, Congress, not the President, has the right to increase taxes and tariffs. However, the President can do so in case of exceptional circumstances that constitute a threat to national security.
Based on that, President Trump raised tariffs on steel and aluminum imports on countries other than Mexico and Canada last year. Trump has long defended the idea that illegal immigration is threatening national security.
Last month, Trump already warned Mexico that if the country cannot exercise effective border control, the recent deal with Mexico on auto exports would not count.
Jenny Beth Martin, honorary chairwoman of Tea Party Patriots Action, and a long-time supporter of Trump approved his latest actions against Mexico. In her words, it was now ''refreshing'' to see a President who keeps his campaign promises.
In contrast, the Heritage Foundation's James Carafano and Jack Spencer questioned whether increasing the tariffs was the right way to respond to the illegal migration.
What do you think? Do you support or oppose the President's Trump decision to raise tariffs on Mexican goods?