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U.S. tariffs on Mexican products disastrous, says Mexican official

Christian Fernsby |
A 5-percent tariff on all imported Mexican goods by the United States will be disastrous if carried out, said Mexico's Undersecretary for North America of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jesus Seade Kuri.

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The measure "has no justification," and could directly affect up to 1.5 million Mexicans and would have an economic impact of 2 billion U.S. dollars, the Mexican official said at a press conference.

Mexico would respond "energetically" in the face of threats from U.S. President Donald Trump, said the official, who is also Mexico's chief trade negotiator of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

"This threat, taken to action, would be extremely serious, and Mexico will not stand with arms crossed while it is in the process of ratifying (the) USMCA," and if Mexico were to apply a similar measure, "it would mean a trade war," the official stressed.

Trump announced on social media Thursday that the tariffs would take effect on June 10 and would not be lifted until the flow of illegal immigration ceases.

Central American migrants coming through Mexico to the U.S. border has increased tensions between the two governments over the last months, as Washington called on Mexico to contain the migrant flow.

Mexico has reiterated that it is working to regulate the migrants, seeking to register them and offering them temporary jobs in Mexico.

Trump's tariffs announcement was made at a time when the USMCA is awaiting the ratification of the legislative bodies of the three participant countries.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Thursday that his government is presenting the USMCA formal documents to the Senate, and Canada already presented the bill to its parliament.

The U.S. government has also pledged to convince the Congress to ratify the new deal.


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