WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Mexican officials will meet with senior Trump administration officials on Wednesday in an attempt to convince Washington to forgo plans to impose a 5 percent tariff on Mexican goods to force the government in Mexico City to stop the flow of migrants from Central America into the United States.
The talks, hosted by US Vice President Mike Pence, will include Secretary of State Mike Pence and several other high-ranking Trump administration officials, according to public schedules published on Wednesday.
READ MORE: Trump Tariffs on Mexico to Have ‘Severe’ Consequences for Texas — US Lawmaker
“We are going to see if we can do something, but I think it’s more likely that the tariffs go on, and we will probably be talking during the time tariffs are on, and they are going to be paid,” he said during a joint press conference with outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May. “Mexico should step and stop this onslaught, this invasion into our country.”
US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said the last-minute talks are unlikely to stop the tariffs from going into effect on June 10.
However, Trump’s decision to levy wide-ranging tariffs on Mexico could spark a revolt among Republicans, according to recent media reports.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters following a closed-door lunch with White House officials on Tuesday that there’s “not much support” for tariffs within his party.
Some Republican senators even threatened that Trump could face a veto-proof majority to overturn the tariffs, the reports said.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio on Wednesday said he is also does not support tariffs, but he agrees with Trump that Mexico has to step up to secure its southern border.
“I don’t generally like tariffs either. But what alternative do my GOP colleagues have to get Mexico to secure its southern border,” Rubio said in statement on Twitter.
The new rift over tariffs could also have an impact on the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which has not been ratified by the governments of the three countries.
According to unconfirmed US media reports the White House aides tried to stop Trump from following through on threats to impose the tariffs because it could hinder passage USMCA, which the White House submitted to Congress for review earlier in the day.
A joint statement by the Mexican ministries of foreign affairs, economy and agriculture on Tuesday estimated “the damages done by tariffs to the two complementary economies” only in agriculture at $117 million a month. The Economy Ministry, in turn, added that the spike in tariffs would affect all of US states and “impact binational value chains, as well as consumers and the jobs that are created from trade with Mexico.”
An increasing number of migrants from Central America have been arriving to the US-Mexican border in recent months. Trump called the surge of arrivals a crisis and declared a national emergency in February to secure funds to build a border wall.