situation report

U.S., Mexico: White House Still Set to Impose Tariffs as Talks Continue

2 MINS READJun 6, 2019 | 21:51 GMT

What Happened: White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders released a statement June 6 saying that the United States has not changed its plans to impose tariffs on Mexico, CNBC reported, and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said June 6 that as of now, the tariffs are still scheduled to go into effect and that not enough progress had been made to stop them, Bloomberg reported. The statements follow earlier reports that the United States was considering delaying tariffs that go into effect June 10 in order to finalize a deal with Mexico. Talks have been happening for most of the day, and Mexican Ambassador to the United States Martha Barcena said negotiations are scheduled to continue later June 6. According to The Washington Post, Mexico has offered to deploy 6,000 of its national guard troops to its southern border. Mexico and the United States — as well as other countries in Central America — are also negotiating a significant overhaul of rules that would force asylum seekers to seek refuge in the country they first set foot in.

Why It Matters: Thus far it appears that there is enough room for a deal to be made, but not necessarily before June 10. At that point, the United States will probably delay the tariffs if it thinks that they're just a few days away from making a deal in order to avoid dramatic problems at the border. But if U.S. President Donald Trump feels that more leverage is needed in the talks, he could let the tariffs go as planned in order to convince Mexico he's serious about implementation. Nevertheless, a deal is likely sooner rather than later. And the tariffs, if imposed, will likely be short-lived. 

Background: On May 30, Trump threatened to place tariffs on all imports from Mexico unless the country made significant strides to reduce the flow of Central American migrants flowing through the country to the U.S. border. Trump said that the tariffs will start at 5 percent on June 10 and rise by 5 percentage points each month until reaching a maximum of 25 percent on Oct. 1, unless a deal is made before then. Mexico and the United States have been deep in negotiations ever since. 

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