Washington: United States President Donald Trump on Thursday threatened to impose tariffs on automobiles made in Mexico and close the southern US border if the country did not stop “massive amounts of drugs” coming into the US within one year.
“We’re going to give them a one-year warning, and if the drugs don’t stop or (are) largely stopped, we’re going to put tariffs on Mexico and products, in particular, the cars … and if that doesn’t stop the drugs, we close the border,” CNN quoted Trump as saying.
Last week, Trump said that he would shut the southern border “or large sections of it” next week if Mexico did not stop “illegals”, coming from Central America, from entering the United States.
However, in recent days, he has handed over the responsibility to the Democrats to work on immigration laws or face border closures.
The President also noted that Mexico, in recent days, has made progress in “capturing people and bringing them back to their countries at their southern border.”
“A lot of good things are happening with Mexico. Mexico understands that we’re going to close the border or I’m going to tariff the cars. One or the other, probably start off with the tariffs. That’ll be a very powerful incentive because Mexico has the strongest immigration laws anywhere in the world,” Trump said on Thursday, during the inaugural meeting of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council.
The US President had previously voiced his disdain for the influx of illegal immigrants from the US-Mexico border. His demand for USD five billion in funding for a wall on this border and the US Congress’ subsequent denial of the money led to the United States government’s longest-ever partial shutdown in the nation’s history.
Earlier this week, the Pentagon notified the US Congress that it had transferred USD one billion to begin new wall construction at the US-Mexico border at the behest of the US President.
This drew immediate objections from Democratic lawmakers, who have been against Trump’s initiative, going as far as labelling it as a waste of taxpayer money.