- President Donald Trump suggested in a Thursday interview on Fox News that Mexico – the US’s third-largest goods-trading partner – isn’t a United States ally.
- When the Fox News host and right-wing pundit Laura Ingraham insisted that Mexico was an important US ally, Trump paused and asked, “How do you define ‘ally’?”
- Trump faces a Friday deadline to sign an executive order imposing a 5% tariff on Mexican goods to go into effect on Monday.
- US and Mexican officials are negotiating the terms of an immigration compromise to ward off the tariff threat and a fracture with Senate Republicans, who have signalled a willingness to block the measure.
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President Donald Trump suggested in a Thursday interview on Fox News that Mexico isn’t a United States ally, despite the fact that it’s the US’s third-largest goods-trading partner.
When the Fox News host Laura Ingraham said Mexico was an important US ally, Trump paused and asked, “How do you define ‘ally’?”
Ingraham pointed out that Mexico is one of the US’s largest trading partners, to which Trump responded, “OK, fine.” He then accused Mexico of sending “$US500 billion worth of drugs” to the US, killing “100,000 people,” and ruining “a million families” every year.
“That’s really an invasion without the guns,” he said.
Research on illegal immigration paints a different picture.
According to The Associated Press, studies by the libertarian Cato Institute and others have found that people who enter the US illegally are less likely than US citizens to commit crimes and that immigrants in the country legally are even less likely to do so.
The AP also said that a March 2018 study by the journal Criminology found that “undocumented immigration does not increase violence.”
Trump’s claim that Mexico is sending “$US500 billion worth of drugs” to the US is also misleading.
The White House Council of Economic Advisers estimated that the economic cost of the opioid epidemic, including early deaths from overdoses, was $US500 billion in 2015. While it’s difficult to track the total amount of opioids smuggled into the US, federal data has suggested that most entering the US illegally are brought through legal ports of entry.
President Trump asked about trade and tariffs against Mexico, the US's third biggest trading partner.
Trump: "They need us, we don't need them"
Ingraham: "They're an important ally of the United States"
Trump: "How do you define ally?" pic.twitter.com/tbKzvysjZ0
— Salvador Hernandez (@SalHernandez) June 7, 2019
Trump last month announced a controversial plan to impose a 5% tariff on all Mexican imports in an effort to force the country to reduce the flow of migrants across the southern border. The president has long blamed the country for the thousands of Central and South American asylum-seekers and migrants who’ve travelled through Mexico to cross into the US.
Trump said on Thursday that he wasn’t worried about whether his actions would jeopardize the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, the trade agreement that would replace NAFTA if passed.
“I’m not worried about it, because they need us – we don’t need them,” Trump said.
A recent analysis by The Perryman Group, an economic consulting firm, found that a 5% tariff on Mexican goods could cost about 400,000 US jobs in total. The US retail sector would likely bear most of the economic burden. Texas and California could be hit particularly hard because both states’ economies are more closely linked with Mexico’s.
US and Mexican officials are negotiating an immigration deal to ward off Trump’s tariff threat and a fracture with Senate Republicans, many of whom have signalled a willingness to block the measure.
But time is running short: Trump faces a Friday deadline to sign an executive order for the tariffs to go into effect on Monday.
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