President Trump provided his take on how Mexico can avoid the potential escalating tariffs that consumer tech companies said are ill-advised.
White House officials speaking on background last week said that if Mexico did not take certain actions related to border security, asylum, and criminal groups preying on migrants, the U.S. would impose a 5% tariff on all Mexican goods, escalating to 25% if Mexico did not comply.
In a brief back-and-forth with reporters before exiting the White House by helicopter for his trip to Britain Sunday night (June 2), the President was asked about what it would take for Mexico to avoid the tariffs. This was his response per a White House transcript.
"They have to stop the illegal flow -- the flow of drugs; of immigrants, illegal immigrants -- people that have not gone through the process. We have people -- we want people to come into our country, but they have to come in legally. We have a list of people -- literally, millions of people -- applying for membership and citizenship to our great country.
"These people walk in; nobody knows who they are. They don't know the problems. We have a lot of crime that's able to walk in. Our Border Patrol has apprehended record numbers of people. They're doing an incredible job."
"We're starting, as you know, the process. We're getting them out. So they may think they get in because the laws are no good, but they're getting out. And for that, the laws are very good. So we're taking them out almost as fast as they come in. But it's a big, big job.
"And if the Democrats would wise up and give us the proper laws--the proper immigration laws--we could solve the problem in one day. But, in the meantime, Mexico can do it.
"And, by the way, beyond the immigration laws, Mexico should be doing it. What Mexico has been doing to this country for so many years--like 25 to 30 years--with the drugs and human trafficking and illegals all pouring through Mexico--no good--and caravans. No good."
What is "no good" as far as tech companies are concerned are tariffs that could cause reprisals by Mexico against the billions of U.S. imports. Mexico is the U.S.'s number one consumer tech export market to the tune of $41 billion in 2017, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).
"If Mexico reciprocates with tariffs of its own, our country’s employers and workers will end up paying twice over for the administration’s misguided trade policies," CTA president Gary Shapiro said last week.