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Tariffs on Mexico face growing rebuke from Republicans


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Tariffs on Mexico face growing rebuke from Republicans

President Donald Trump's plans to impose tariffs on all goods from Mexico should it not curb what he believes is a migrant crisis spilling over into the U.S. have drawn opposition not only from Mexico and concerned U.S. companies, but now also from high-ranking members of Trump's own Republican party.

In a news conference June 4, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said that Republicans hope the tariffs on Mexico do not kick in, amid rumblings that Senate Republicans may oppose any such tariff measure through a vote of disapproval.

"There is not much support in my conference for tariffs," McConnell said, adding that he has talked to a number of White House representatives on the matter. "That's for sure."

"I think the administration ought to be concerned about another vote of disapproval on another national emergency act, this time trying to implement tariffs," Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., also told reporters June 4, according to The Washington Post. "Tariffs are not real popular in the Republican conference. This is a different vote."

Trump, however, remained confident that he could push through his unilateral action.

"Oh, I don't think they will do that," Trump said at a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May in a visit June 4. "I think if they did, it's foolish. I think it's more likely that the tariffs go on."

Trump said May 30 that 5% tariffs on all imports from Mexico will go into effect June 10, a rate that is scheduled to rise to 10% on July 1 should Mexico not take further immigration action. The tariff rate would rise to 15% on Aug. 1, 20% on Sept. 1, and 25% on Oct. 1.

High-level representatives from both countries are meeting throughout the week to try and quell the spat before the deadline.

Following a June 3 meeting with Mexican Economy Secretary Graciela Marquez Colin in Washington, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement that the tariffs were discussed, adding that he "reiterated [Trump's] message that Mexico needs to do more to help the U.S. address immigration across our shared border."

High-level meetings are expected to continue June 5 in Washington. The White House and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative did not immediately return requests for comment.

Trump even took time on his London trip to tweet that "as a sign of good faith, Mexico should immediately stop the flow of people and drugs through their country and to our southern border."

Mexico is already exploring the possibility of retaliation against the U.S., The Wall Street Journal reported, citing senior officials. Previous retaliation by Mexico against the U.S. for tariffs on metals largely targeted agricultural goods produced in Republican-heavy states.