The tax, which White House press secretary Sean Spicer characterized as “theoretical”, would apply to countries “like Mexico”, with which the USA has a trade deficit, he said in a briefing Thursday.
Mexico is also one of the largest exporters of agricultural products to the US, sending $21 billion worth of fruits, vegetables, beer, snack food and more across the border in 2015. “I will make decisions about what to do next”, he said.
Mexican officials highlighted their cooperation with US authorities on drug trafficking and the flow of Central Americans to the United States through Mexico. However Pena Nieto later wrote on Twitter that he opened their conversation telling Trump that Mexico would not pay. According to the U.S. Trade Representative, “The top export categories.in 2015 were: machinery ($42 billion), electrical machinery ($41 billion), vehicles ($22 billion), mineral fuels ($19 billion), and plastics ($17 billion)”.
“I think that, in general, diplomacy is not conducted via Twitter”, Finance Secretary Jose Antonio Meade told Radio Formula.
Following Republicans’ success in the November elections, Democrats in Congress have been debating how to proceed on strategies like whether to obstruct Trump as Republicans did Obama and whether to move away from an identity politics-focused strategy and toward one based on middle-class voters.
Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto delivers a statement at the Official Residence Los Pinos in Mexico City, Mexico, 09 November 2016. “Japan is a very good economy for us to be trading with”, Ambrose said, adding she prefers trade with Japan to potentially trading with China.
“The President of Mexico and myself have agreed to cancel our planned meeting for next week”, Trump told Republican lawmakers gathered in Philadelphia for a retreat.
Such a tax would likely violate provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement and rules of the World Trade Organization.
Trump was not the first to float the idea of pulling out of next week’s scheduled meeting with Nieto.
In an interview earlier this week with Fox News’s Sean Hannity, Trump used Israel’s wall as a point of reference as he advocated for his wall plan. “He is interested in appearances”, Zepeda said. “So the first big loss is 10 million USA workers jobs, which he has promised to protect, and he’s doing exactly the opposite”. He highlighted the need to dismantle the drug cartels and keep illegal weapons and cash from flowing out of the country during a speech after the signing.
President Trump announced Wednesday the planning to build a wall on the Mexican border will start immediately.
Pena Nieto’s tweet followed about three hours after Trump said the meeting with his Mexican counterpart should be called off if Mexico isn’t prepared to pay for the wall.
Already Mexico is feeling the effects of the new tone from Washington.
Later in the day, Trump contemplated introducing a 20% import tax for products from Mexico to pay for The Wall.