Trump to Impose 5 Percent Tariff on Mexican Imports Over Illegal Immigration

May 30, 2019 Updated: May 31, 2019

President Donald Trump has announced on late May 30 a 5 percent tariff on all goods coming from Mexico.

“On June 10th, the United States will impose a 5 percent Tariff on all goods coming into our Country from Mexico, until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP,” he said in a Twitter post.

“The Tariff will gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied, at which time the Tariffs will be removed. Details from the White House to follow.”

Trump told reporters earlier on May 30 that he was planning “a major statement” that would be his biggest and most “dramatic” so far on the border.

“I’m not closing the borders, I’m doing something else,” he said, adding that the statement “will have to do with people crossing the border illegally.”

Official Statement

Shortly after Trump’s late night tweet, the White House released the President’s statement on its website.

Trump wrote that Mexico has been passively allowing illegal immigrants through its borders, despite its “very strong immigration laws,” and could easily stop the flow of illegal immigrants by returning them to their home countries.

He noted that the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants that come through Mexico to enter the United States have caused an “emergency and extraordinary threat” to the national security and economy of the United States.

“This sustained influx of illegal aliens has profound consequences on every aspect of our national life—overwhelming our schools, overcrowding our hospitals, draining our welfare system, and causing untold amounts of crime,” he wrote.

“Gang members, smugglers, human traffickers, and illegal drugs and narcotics of all kinds are pouring across the Southern Border and directly into our communities.”

He wrote that Mexico has not been treating the United States “fairly” for many years by failing to crack down on the surge of Central American migrants from countries including El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, and that “It must end NOW!”

“Mexico must step up and help solve this problem,” he said.

“We welcome people who come to the United States legally, but we cannot allow our laws to be broken and our borders to be violated.

“For years, Mexico has not treated us fairly—but we are now asserting our rights as a sovereign Nation.”

The president said that if Mexico can alleviate the crisis at the Southern border, by dramatically reducing or eliminating the number of illegal aliens crossing, the United States may remove the tariffs.

“If the crisis persists, however, the Tariffs will be raised to 10 percent on July 1, 2019,” Trump said.

He added that the tariffs will increase yet again to 15 percent on Aug. 1, 20 percent on Sept. 1, and 25 percent on Oct.1 if Mexico still has not taken action.

Trump ended by saying, “As President of the United States, my highest duty is the defense of the country and its citizens.

“A nation without borders is not a nation at all.  I will not stand by and allow our sovereignty to be eroded, our laws to be trampled, or our borders to be disrespected anymore.”

It’s unclear whether the announcement will have any impact on the new United States-Mexico-Canada trade deal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Follow Mimi on Twitter: @MimiNguyenLy
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