June 2 (UPI) — White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said Sunday that President Donald Trump is “absolutely deadly serious” about imposing new tariffs on Mexico.
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Mulvaney said he fully expects the tariffs to be put in place “at least” at 5e percent by June 10.
“The president is deadly serious about fixing the situation at the southern border,” Mulvaney said. “Six months ago, we told everybody it was an emergency situation. Very few people believed us. In fact, I’ve talked with you about how the Democrats even refused to believe the facts six months ago.”
On Sunday, Trump wrote a pair of tweets again threatening tariffs and accusing Mexico of abusing the United States.
“People have been saying for years that we should talk to Mexico. The problem is that Mexico is an ‘abuser’ of the United States, taking but never giving. It has been this way for decades,” Trump wrote. “Either they stop the invasion of our Country by Drug Dealers, Cartels, Human Traffickers Coyotes and Illegal Immigrants, which we can do very easily or our many companies and jobs that have been foolishly allowed to move South of the Border, will be brought back into the United States through taxation (Tariffs). America has had enough!”
Trump first announced the tariffs on Thursday, invoking the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to establish the 5 percent duty on all Mexican goods, citing the country’s “passive cooperation” in allowing an influx of migrants to cross the border into the United States illegally.
Mulvaney said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lightizer and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would meet to negotiate with Mexican officials this week, seeking to get Mexico to agree to secure its own southern border with Guatemala as well as quell domestic terrorist and criminal organizations to avoid the tariffs.
“Things have to get better, they have to get dramatically better and they have to get better quickly,” he said.