News ID: 254059
Published: 0516 GMT June 10, 2019

Democrats blast Trump over tariff threat against Mexico

Democrats blast Trump over tariff threat against Mexico

Democratic lawmakers in the US Congress have blasted President Donald Trump's tactics of threatening tariffs to gain concessions on immigration from Mexico, saying the Republican president was recklessly endangering Washington’s ties to a major trading partner and ally.

"What the world is tired of, and what I am tired of, is a president who consistently goes to war, verbal war, with our allies," Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, said in an interview with CNN, Presstv Reported.

"We need a decent relationship with Mexico," added Sanders, who is a presidential candidate for 2020. "We should not be confronting them every other day."

The Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, issued a sharply worded statement Saturday. "Threats and temper tantrums are no way to negotiate foreign policy," she said.

Trump has threatened tariffs on Mexican goods unless the Latin American nation curbs illegal immigration across its border with the US.

Trump said last month he would impose 5 percent tariffs on Mexican goods. He said the duties would increase every month until they reached 25 percent in October.

On Friday, the tariffs were called off, after the United States and Mexico announced an agreement on immigration. But Trump renewed the threat of tariffs  on Monday, saying they would be reimposed if Mexico’s Congress did not approve the immigration deal.

“We do not anticipate a problem with the vote but, if for any reason the approval is not forthcoming, tariffs will be reinstated,” Trump tweeted.

But Democrats and other critics have said there have been no new major commitments to slow Central American migrants crossing the US-Mexico border.

Beto O'Rourke, a former member of the US House of Representatives from the border city of El Paso, Texas, who is also running for president, was among the critics challenging how much Trump had actually accomplished.

"I think the president has completely overblown what he reports to have achieved," O'Rourke said in an interview with ABC News. "These are agreements that Mexico had already made, in some cases months ago.

"They might have accelerated the timetable, but by and large the president achieved nothing except to jeopardize the most important trading relationship that the United States of America has," he added.

One of the concessions announced by officials in the Trump administration was Mexico's agreement to deploy troops to slow the migrant flow to the US. However, The New York Times reported Saturday that Mexico had pledged to do that in secret talks in March.

And the agreement to expand a program allowing asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while their cases are being processed was reached in December, the newspaper reported, quoting officials from both countries.

   
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Resource: Presstv
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