The United states have continued talks with Mexico despite threats from U.S. President Trump to hit tariffs on its southern neighbours.
According to experts, If the tariffs go through, it could impact both economies and drive a wedge between Washington and its third largest trading partner.
Presently, the inflow of undocumented migrants crossing its southern border into the United states is becoming worrisome, a situation to which Trump has expressed frustration over. Last month saw a decade-long high in apprehensions of illegal migrants, with 133,000 detained at the border.
Mexico is also used as a route of entry to the United States by violent criminal gangs from El Salvador, such as the infamous MS-13, while many of Trump’s supporters also believe that illegal immigration drives down working class wages and increases competition for blue collar jobs.
Illegal immigration will be one of Trump’s major platforms in the 2020 elections, and the president believes Mexico has done very little to mitigate the situation.
While Mexico on Thursday vowed to provide 6,000 troops to beef up border security, that may not be enough to satisfy Trump’s demands.
The U.S. president has threatened that if Mexico does not take action to stem the tsunami of illegal migration, he will slap a 5% tariff on Mexican goods that will grow incrementally if no agreement is reached.
Late Thursday afternoon, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the U.S. “position has not changed, and we are still moving forward with tariffs at this time.”