Top economic officials of the U.S. and Mexican governments will meet in Washington, D.C., Monday to discuss trade, just days after President Donald Trump threatened tariffs if Mexico doesn’t stop migrants from crossing the border illegally.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Mexican Economy Secretary Graciela Marquez will begin talks Monday. Marquez confirmed the meeting in a tweet.
Trump threatened 5 percent tariffs on Mexican goods starting June 10, and the penalties would raise periodically until they reach 25 percent in October. The tariffs would remain “until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our country, STOP,” Trump posted on Twitter.
More talks are set for Wednesday between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Mexcian Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard.
Ebrard said he will be “firm and protect the dignity of Mexico.”
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has struck an optimistic tone, touting a positive relationship between the United States and Mexico.
“Let us swear that nothing and nobody separates our beautiful and sacred friendship,” Lopez Obrador tweeted.
U.S. consumers would bear the brunt of the tariffs, experts have said. An analysis by the Tax Foundation warned they would be the biggest tax hike in more than three decades. It said the effect could reduce the U.S. gross domestic product by $124.8 billion, lower wages by 0.33 and reduce the workforce by 387,041 full-time equivalent jobs.
White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Sunday Trump is “deadly serious” about tariffs for Mexico.
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