Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said that he and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would meet on Wednesday toThursday evening, which would tax all Mexican imports.
“I inform you that the summit to resolve the differences between the US and our country will be Wednesday in Washington. Mike Pompeo will head up the US delegation. I will head the Mexican. There is a willingness to dialogue. We will be firm and we will defend our dignity,” Ebrard wrote in a tweet which has been translated from Spanish.
The State Department has not yet responded.
Ebrard wrote on Twitter earlier Friday afternoon that he was about to board a plane to Washington from Houston, Texas, and had spoken to Pompeo and Trump son-in-law and to senior adviser Jared Kushner on the phone.
“I’ve been asked why start Friday: because the relevance of the topic and the need to prepare arguments and a common strategy by different parts of the government demands intense work. We must also meet with Mexico’s allies over the weekend. That’s why I’m leaving now,” Ebrard wrote in another tweet which has been translated from Spanish.
Mr. Trump announced the new tariffs in retaliation for what he says is a failure by the Mexican government to curb an unprecedented flow of Central American families heading toward the U.S. In a statement from the White House on Thursday evening, Mr. Trump said a 5% tariff on imports would take effect June 10 and increase five percentage points every first of the month until October, when the levy would reach 25%.
“Tariffs will permanently remain at the 25 percent level unless and until Mexico substantially stops the illegal inflow of aliens coming through its territory,” he added.
The president said the tariffs would be lifted “if the illegal migration crisis is alleviated through effective actions taken by Mexico,” which will “be determined in our sole discretion and judgment.”
However, several Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike have condemned the new tariffs, saying that they would hurt American workers and could threaten the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement negotiated by Mr. Trump.
“Trade policy and border security are separate issues. This is a misuse of presidential tariff authority and counter to congressional intent,” said Senate Financial Services Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, a powerful Republican.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said that Mr. Trump’s announcement demonstrated a “lack of understanding of the recklessness of his actions by threatening tariffs on Mexico.”
“The President’s threat is not rooted in wise trade policy but has more to do with bad immigration policy on his part,” Pelosi said in a statement.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has also condemned the tariffs.
“Imposing tariffs on goods from Mexico is exactly the wrong move. These tariffs will be paid by American families and businesses without doing a thing to solve the very real problems at the border,” said Neil Bradley, executive vice president and chief policy officer of the Chamber of Commerce.