President Donald Trump vowed to impose a 5 per cent tariff on Mexican goods until that country stops immigrants from entering the US illegally –brandishing a weapon used against a widening group of countries and jeopardising a new North American trade agreement.
The tariff would take effect on 10 June, “until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our country, STOP,” Trump said in a Twitter post on Thursday night.
He warned that the levy “would gradually increase until the illegal immigration problem is remedied at which time the tariff will be removed.” The tariffs could rise as high as 25 per cent on 1 October, Trump said in a statement released by the White House.
The move, which has major implications for American automakers and other companies with production south of the border and the US economy as a whole, represents Trump’s latest expansion of his trade wars.
It comes just days after he removed steel tariffs on Mexico that had caused retaliation against US farm products.
It also marries two of his signature issues – trade and immigration – as he ramps up his campaign for re-election in 2020.