U.S. of­fi­cials weigh de­lay­ing Mex­ico tar­iffs

Lodi News-Sentinel - - NATION/WORLD - By Mar­garet Talev, Jen­nifer Ja­cobs and Eric Martin

WASH­ING­TON — The U.S. is con­sid­er­ing de­lay­ing Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s threat­ened tar­iffs on Mex­ico as talks con­tinue over stem­ming the flow of un­doc­u­mented mi­grants and illegal drugs from Cen­tral Amer­ica, ac­cord­ing to peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter.

Mex­ico is push­ing for more time to ne­go­ti­ate over con­cerns the two sides won’t be able to reach agree­ment on all the steps Mex­ico would have to take to avert the tar­iffs, one per­son said. Trump has said the tar­iffs will be en­acted on Mon­day.

One U.S. of­fi­cial said the most likely out­come is still that a 5% tar­iff goes into ef­fect. But the of­fi­cial said U.S. ne­go­tia­tors rec­og­nize that Mex­ico is tak­ing the talks se­ri­ously and work­ing quickly to ad­dress Trump’s con­cerns. If the 5% tar­iff is trig­gered but Mex­ico fol­lows through on prom­ises to crack down on mi­gra­tion, the du­ties could be short­lived, the of­fi­cial said.

U.S. stock in­dexes jumped to ses­sion highs on the news, while Mex­ico’s peso strength­ened against the dol­lar.

Trump is trav­el­ing in Europe this week. Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence and Sec­re­tary of State Michael Pom­peo took part in dis­cus­sions with Mex­i­can For­eign Min­is­ter Marcelo Ebrard on Wed­nes­day, but nei­ther was present at meet­ings Thurs­day.

Ebrard said ear­lier Thurs­day that there were un­spec­i­fied “ad­vances” af­ter meet­ing with of­fi­cials at the State Depart­ment.

No deal is ex­pected out of a White House meet­ing on Thurs­day, an ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial said. The meet­ing is staff-level only for the U.S., without any Cab­i­net sec­re­taries, Pence or Trump in the room.

The White House didn’t im­me­di­ately re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

While Trump said progress was made dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s 90-minute meet­ing and that “some­thing pretty dra­matic could hap­pen” in the com­ing days, he con­tin­ued to hold out the threat that the U.S. will fol­low through with tar­iffs.

Mex­ico’s pro­posal to de­lay the im­ple­men­ta­tion matches com­ments by top Repub­li­can law­mak­ers. Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell told ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials that Trump should hold off on im­pos­ing tar­iffs on Mex­ico un­til the pres­i­dent can per­son­ally make his ar­gu­ment to Repub­li­cans in Congress, ac­cord­ing to peo­ple briefed on the con­ver­sa­tion.

“We’ve told Mex­ico the tar­iffs go on” if no deal is made, Trump told re­porters in France, where he spoke at a com­mem­o­ra­tion of the 75th an­niver­sary of D-Day. “They have to step up to the plate.”

“If no agree­ment is reached, Tar­iffs at the 5% level will be­gin on Mon­day, with monthly in­creases as per sched­ule,” Trump tweeted Wed­nes­day. “The higher the Tar­iffs go, the higher the num­ber of com­pa­nies that will move back to the USA!”

Trump last month an­nounced a 5% tar­iff on all im­ports from Mex­ico un­less the coun­try takes “de­ci­sive mea­sures” — as judged by his ad­min­is­tra­tion — to stem mi­grants en­ter­ing the U.S. He said the tar­iffs would be­gin June 10 and scale up in­cre­men­tally un­til they reach 25% on Oct. 1. Mex­ico is the sec­ond largest source of U.S. im­ports af­ter China.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.