Trump announced the US will impose 5% tariffs on Mexico effective on Monday, 10 June. The tarriffs will increase by 5% each month up to a maximum of 25% by October. The measure was conceived to counter Mexico’s inability to stop the influx of illegal immigrants from Central and South America.
The Hill reported on Thursday citing a draft declaration obtained by their website that US President Trump plans to declare another national emergency to impose the tariffs on Mexico over its perceived role in the illegal immigrant crisis in America.
According to the document’s language, the declaration is necessary due to the “failure of the Government of Mexico to take effective action to reduce the mass migration of aliens illegally crossing into the United States through Mexico”.
“The United States Government has repeatedly asked the Government of Mexico to take responsibility and help reduce this mass migration. Yet the Government of Mexico has failed to take sufficient action to alleviate this problem, has allowed this mass incursion to increase, and has failed to secure its own southern border”, the document reads.
The new national emergency will be introduced in addition to an earlier one, declared in February, which Trump used to send National Guard troops to the US-Mexico border to support Customs and Border Protection units. He used the same declaration to divert several billion dollars in Pentagon funding for the construction of a border wall to prevent migrants from crossing into US territory by foot.
According to The Hill, the declaration of the new national emergency signals that the White House is not sure the earlier one was enough to justify the tariffs. However, it is still unclear whether “the final decision has been made” to declare another emergency. The White House has declined to comment on the issue.
The idea of declaring a second national emergency was first introduced by White House officials earlier this week during a meeting with Republican lawmakers, according to The Hill.
Last week, Trump threatened to impose 5% tariffs on all Mexican goods crossing into the United States, which would increase by 5% every subsequent month, reaching a maximum of 25% in October. The tariffs are set to come into effect Monday.
The measure has been widely criticised by lawmakers who claim Trump is about to exceed his executive power; the tariffs are likely to draw additional legal challenges to the administration, who are already mired in a power struggle with the House Democrats.
Mexico sent delegations of senior officials to Washington to conduct talks with various US counterparts throughout the week to halt the introduction of tariffs, but without success. On Thursday, Mexico said it would deploy 6,000 troops to its southern border to repel migrants. Still, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the president’s decision remains unchanged.
“Our position has not changed, and we are still moving forward with tariffs at this time”, Sanders said, according to The Hill.