New Delhi: In an attempt to temper the migration crisis of Mexican citizens, United States President Donald Trump slapped a new five per cent tariff on Mexican import goods.
The decision, that will be applicable from June 10, 2019, was taken to pressure the country to halt the flow of Central American migrants trying to cross the border.
Trump wrote on Twitter that until the illegal migrants stop from coming into the United States, the tariff is bound to increase gradually until the “problem” is remedied. He made the announcement after telling reporters that he was about to make the “biggest statement so far on the border”.
Since his election in 2016, President Trump has accused the Mexican government of failing to curb the inflow of the immigrants who come to the US from countries including El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala in search of asylum. He has made sincere efforts to make headlines by radicalising the issue that he views as critical to his re-election.
Trump told reporters at the White House, “This is a big league statement. We are going to do something very dramatic on the border because people are coming into our country.”
However, the announcement comes as the administration has been pushing for passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement that would update the North American Free Trade Agreement. Recently, Trump has lifted import taxes on Mexican and Canadian steel and aluminium, a move that seemed to clear an obstacle in the North American trade deal.
Jesus Seade, the trade negotiator for Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, expressed his concern on the matter but later called out the American President for its unlikeliness.
President Trump has been seeking funds to build a wall on the US-Mexican border throughout his time in the office. He even declared a national emergency in February to divert federal funds for a barrier wall, which was blocked by a US federal judge in May.
On Wednesday, a group of more than 1000 people was apprehended by the Border Patrol while attempting to cross the border illegally. Homeland Security said that it was the largest group of migrants apprehended together.