United States Vice-President Mike Pence.
United States Vice President Mike Pence said the US still plans to impose tariffs on Mexico next week, as American and Mexican officials planned further talks aimed at defusing a crisis between the two countries over the flow of undocumented migrants into the US.
“Tomorrow we are going to maintain these conversations, we don’t have yet an agreement but we are advancing in order to reach an agreement as we want,” Ebrard said as he left the State Department. “So tomorrow morning we are going to work in the, maybe, one of the last sessions in order to make an effort to have an agreement.”
At the same time, administration officials have considered delaying the tariffs to give Mexico time to prepare a solution, according to people familiar with the matter. Prospects of a delay helped the S&P 500 Index extend its advance.
“At this point the tariffs are going to be imposed on Monday,” Pence said in Pennsylvania. The vice president, who took part in negotiations on Wednesday, said he would talk to Trump later Thursday and over the weekend about Mexico’s proposals, including developments during a second day of talks Thursday.
“I’m encouraged they came today with more but it will be a matter for the president to consider,” Pence said.
Ebrard confirmed that his government has offered to send about 6,000 national guard troops to Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala to help stem migration as part of an agreement to avert the tariffs.
Mexico is asking for more time to negotiate over concerns the two sides won’t be able to reach agreement on the steps Mexico would have to take to avert the tariffs, one person said. Trump has said the tariffs would be enacted on Monday.
Ebrard said earlier Thursday that there were unspecified “advances” after meeting with officials at the State Department.
While Trump said progress was made during Wednesday’s 90-minute meeting and that “something pretty dramatic could happen” in the coming days, he continued to hold out the threat that the US would follow through with tariffs.
“We’ve told Mexico the tariffs go on” if no deal is made, Trump told reporters in France, where he spoke at a commemoration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day. “They have to step up to the plate.”
Trump last week announced a 5% tariff on all imports from Mexico unless the country takes “decisive measures” – as judged by his administration – to stem migrants entering the US. He said the tariffs would begin June 10 and scale up incrementally until they reach 25% on October 1.
Trump said in a taped interview with Fox News that was broadcast Thursday night that he’s not concerned about the impact of tariffs on a newly negotiated US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.