President Donald Trump said on Thursday April 4th, he will give Mexico one year to stem the flow of illegal drugs and migrants over the southern border, and if the country cannot, he said he will impose auto tariffs, and if that doesn’t work, he will close the border.
“You know I will do it. I don’t play games. … so we’re doing it to stop people. We’re gonna give them a one year warning, and if the drugs don’t stop, or largely stop, we’re going to put tariffs on Mexico and products, in particular cars. The whole ballgame is cars….and if that doesn’t stop the drugs, we close the border,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
“If Mexico doesn’t apprehend these people coming” into the United States from Central America, “we’re going to tax the cars. And if that doesn’t work, we’re going to close the border,” Trump said during a meeting of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council. “If, in a year from now, drugs continue to pour in, we’re going to put tariffs up.”
The move represents a significant step back from Trump’s recent threats to shut the border as early as this week.
“If Mexico doesn’t immediately stop ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States through our Southern Border, I will be CLOSING the Border, or large sections of the Border, next week,” Trump tweeted on March 29.
It was unclear Thursday exactly how Trump’s new demands would be put into motion, or how long he might give tariffs to work before closing the border. But the yearlong delay came as good news to businesses and Republican lawmakers, both of whom feared earlier this week that the closure of some part of the U.S.-Mexico border was imminent.
“We welcome the President’s decision not to close the Mexican border,” said Neil Bradley, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a statement Thursday. “Congress and the president should take this opportunity to enact border security and immigration reform. Congress should also ensure Customs and Border Protection officials receive the resources they need to reduce the excessive wait times affecting legitimate trade and travel across the border.”