US stocks fell more than 350 points on Friday following US President Donald Trump’s announcement that Washington would be imposing a 5% tariff on all goods coming from Mexico.
The Dow Industrial Index fell by 354 points and the S&P by 36.79 points. NASDAQ dropped 114.57 points.
Trump’s latest move, which is intended to reduce the flow of undocumented immigrants and asylum-seekers crossing the US-Mexico border, saw stocks plummet as investors feared the tariffs would impact corporate earnings and increase the cost of goods for US consumers. As a result of the move the Mexican peso fell by some 2.5% against the dollar.
“This will impact consumer spending. This will impact corporate earnings. This is utilizing a trade policy tool to enforce policy outside of trade, and that sets a concerning precedent and leaves investors wondering how else tariffs could possibly be used,” Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco, told the Wall Street Journal. “Markets were already freaking out over existing tariffs.”
“We’ve just thrown gas on the fire,” she added.
Isabel Garcia, co-founder of Coalición de Derechos Humanos, told Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear on Friday that Trump’s actions were “absolutely punitive.”
Trump revealed that the tariffs would be imposed late Thursday evening via Twitter, saying that the 5% would be implemented on June 10 and that the percentage would “gradually increase until the illegal immigration problem is remedied.”
According to a White House press release, if immigration troubles persist, tariffs will be raised to 10% on July 1, with a subsequent 5% increase expected every month until it reaches 25% on October 1.
“Tariffs will permanently remain at the 25 percent level unless and until Mexico substantially stops the illegal inflow of aliens coming through its territory. Workers who come to our country through the legal admissions process, including those working on farms, ranches, and in other businesses, will be allowed easy passage,” reads the release.
More than 100,000 migrants have been apprehended at the US southern border over the last two months, Sputnik previously reported. Earlier this week, video footage emerged showing more than 1,000 individuals attempting to cross into the US.