Mexico draws red line on asylum as Trump tariff risk rises

"It's more likely the tariffs go on and we'll probably be talking during the time the tariffs are on", the USA president said during a news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May in London.

"There is a clear limit to what we can negotiate, and the limit is Mexican dignity", Mexico's ambassador to the United States, Martha Barcena, said.

GOP Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana, called the tariffs a "mistake" and said it was unlikely Trump would impose them.

Several Mexican officials are now in Washington, with meetings with a number of United States officials scheduled for this week.

The president, in a statement, said the tariff is in response to continued large-scale illegal immigration from Mexico.

Barcena added that US tariffs "could cause financial and economic instability", reducing Mexico's capacity to address the flow of migrants and "offer alternatives" to people fleeing Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

"The tariffs certainly put the USMCA on ice", said Gary Hufbauer, an expert in trade law at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, who panned the move but said Trump does have the legal authority to impose the tariffs under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act by citing a national emergency.

US authorities have detained more than 100,000 migrants along the Mexican border in each of the past two months. Goldman increased its expectations for an escalation to the trade wars, predicting a 60 percent chance that the United States will be placing an additional 10 percent tariff hike on Chinese imports. "Mexico is our biggest export market".

She added that her country has taken steps to offer migrants visas, and said that "without Mexico's efforts, an additional quarter million migrants could arrive at the USA border in 2019". The long-term issue is whether migrants will cross Mexico's southern border as they head for the United States.

Mr. Ebrard is expected to meet U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for talks on the crisis on Wednesday, although Mexican officials say they will be holding other meetings beforehand.

"I just hope they can reach some kind of agreement to delay this and continue to talk", Thune said.

Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has predicted that Trump would ease up on his demands and Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said last week he had begun negotiating with officials in Washington. The price of oil fell on Monday as US trade disputes with the two countries deepened concerns about weakening global crude demand. "In Texas, the government [just] recorded the largest single group of illegal immigrants in history, and also saw the first-ever large group of African children and families - suggesting that knowledge of the loopholes that Central Americans have been exploiting is knowledge now spreading beyond the Western Hemisphere", this newspaper reported this week.

Economists warned that the Mexican economy could be pushed into recession if Trump followed through, and there were worries that it could also affect USA growth.

  • Zachary Reyes