Mexico’s president, Lopez Obrador, has said he would respond with “great prudence” to threats by U.S. president, Donald Trump to impose tariffs on Mexican goods entering the US.
Trump had said he would impose tariffs unless Mexico stops illegal immigrants from crossing the border it shares with the United States, noting that the plan would impose a 5% tariff on Mexican imports starting on June 10 and increase monthly, up to 25% on Oct. 1.
Speaking at his regular morning news conference, Obrador said he believed Trump would understand that the tariff threat was not the way to resolve the matter, and stressed that Mexicans had united behind his government.
“I tell all Mexicans to have faith, we will overcome this attitude of the U.S. government, they will make rectifications because the Mexican people doesn’t deserve to be treated in the way being attempted,” Lopez Obrador said.
Exports to the United States of goods from avocados to cars and televisions are vital to the Mexican economy. Mexico sends around 80 percent of its exports to the United States.
Since taking office in December, Obrador has urged Trump to help him tackle migration by promoting economic development in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, where most of the migrants apprehended on the U.S. border come from.
In a letter responding to Trump’s announcement on Thursday, Lopez Obrador called Trump’s policy of America First “a fallacy” and accused him of turning the United States into a “ghetto” that stigmatized and mistreated migrants.
Mexico has yet to receive a reply to the letter, according to Lopez Obrador, who said he would hold news conferences at the weekend about his government’s progress.
Trump’s tariff move rattled investors who feared worsening trade friction could hurt the global economy.