After the Mexican and US officials met on Wednesday to discuss the tense relationships between the two countries, American President Donald Trump said that “not enough” progress was made during the talks. The two parties are set to resume their talks in Washington. New tariffs on Mexican goods discussed by Trump will be on the agenda on Thursday.
Is Trump losing his cool over Mexico?
One of the prominent features of Trump’s successful presidential campaign was to launch new tariffs against Mexico, stop illegal migration from the southern country and build a border wall that could stop infiltration. As Trump has not yet delivered on his promises and the border wall is not being funded by Mexico (as promised by Trump), the president is eager to take a more hawkish stance. He is now trumpeting 5% tariffs on all Mexican imports starting Monday. The tariff is set to rise to 25% in the year.
Wednesday’s meeting was chaired by Vice President Mike Pence alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard. They discussed migrants crossing the border and that Mexico needs to do more in order to stop the infiltration. Trump, who is in Europe till Friday, tweeted on Wednesday evening,
“Immigration discussions at the White House with representatives of Mexico have ended for the day. Progress is being made, but not nearly enough!”
What does the US want Mexico to do?
A White House official said after Wednesday’s meeting that Pence expected to hear that the Mexican government is ready to “immediately” take “tangible measures.” However, Mexico wants long term measures instead of the short-term solutions given by the US.
If the two countries don’t reach a resolution fast, the United States will be in the middle of a major trade dispute with two of its biggest trade partners- China and Mexico. American business groups want to avoid this situation. Mexico too is looking for a resolution as the country’s economy could move towards a recession because of trade tensions.
The government is getting ready for a no-deal outcome of the talks, in case the US doesn’t budge from its demands. Mexico will announce the official list of US products subjected to retaliatory tariffs if the 5% tariff on its exports is levied. The list will be tailored towards products from states that form the electoral base of President Trump. The Republican Party is pressing Trump to strike a deal and avoid tariffs as the 2020 election is getting closer.