Trump's Mexico Tariff Threat Remains as Deadline Approaches

President Donald Trump tweeted late Wednesday (June 5) that progress was being made with Mexico, but not enough yet to forestall a planned 5% tariff on all Mexican goods, which the Administration said it is using as a way to get that country to help stop immigrants from entering this country illegally.

The President is in a tariff war with China and appears to like the tactic, but tech companies said the threatened Mexico tariffs (they don't like the China tariffs either) could affect billions in U.S. tech exports if no agreement is reached and Mexico retaliates

Following the close of talks at the White House, the President said:


The Washington Post reported Wednesday that a half dozen Republicans had spoken out against the tariff at a close-door meeting on the Hill. Congress could block the tariffs, but would need a veto-proof majority, or two-thirds of all senators.

Related: Trump on Mexico Tariffs: 'Carvans. No Good'

White House officials speaking on background last week said that if Mexico did not take certain actions related to border security, asylum, and criminal groups preying on migrants, the U.S. would impose the 5% tariff, escalating to 25% by the fall if Mexico did not comply.

The President plans to use his International Emergency Economic Powers Act to impose that tariff starting (Monday) June 10, ratcheting it up to 10% on July 1 if Mexico won't do what we say, then 15% on Aug. 1, 20% on Sept. 1 and 25% on Oct. 1.

"We’ve told Mexico the tariffs go on, and I mean it too," he reiterated Thursday morning from France before heading off to a commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. "And I’m very happy with it. And a lot of people, senators included, they have no idea what they’re talking about when it comes to tariffs. They have absolutely no idea. When you have the money, when you have the product, when you have the thing that everybody wants, you’re in a position to do very well with tariffs and that’s where we are.

"We’re the piggy bank. The United States is the piggy bank. It has all the money that others want to take from us, but they’re not taking it so easy anymore. It’s a lot different."

He also signaled his $250 billion in tariffs on China could be going up, saying: “We’re already getting 25% on $250 billion and I can go up at least another $300 billion.”

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.