President Donald Trump is standing by his threat to raise tariffs on goods flowing into the U.S. from Mexico but Republicans are counted among his critics.
Faced with keeping his promise to secure the southern border, Trump has announced a five-percent tariff that could climb even higher if Mexico’s officials keep allowing tens of thousands of Central American migrants to reach the U.S.
"Mexico can stop it," President Trump said Wednesday during a visit to Ireland. "They have to stop it. Otherwise we won't be able to do business.
The tariffs are scheduled to kick in Monday, June 10.
According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the U.S. exported $299 billion to Mexico in 2018 and imported $371 billion.
Exports to China, by comparison, totalled $179 billion while imports were $557 billion last year.
Tori Whiting of The Heritage Foundation says poor Americans will be the hardest hit by tariffs.
"The reason why is because those families in our country spend a larger portion of their budget on things like groceries and clothing," she says.
In the U.S. Senate, GOP senators are publicly declaring their opposition to President Trump’s tariff threat and have told Trump officials an embarrassing vote could be coming soon in the GOP-controlled senate to criticize the plan.
“I will yield to nobody in passion and seriousness and commitment to securing the border,” said Sen. Ted Cruz. “But there’s no reason for Texas farmers and ranchers and manufacturers and small businesses to pay the price of massive new taxes.”
But the president has some support on Capitol Hill, too.
Tariffs would be “tough” on the economy but the “broken” border needs to be fixed, and tariffs would be necessary if they address the border problem, Sen. Lindsey Graham told Fox News.
“Trump’s not the problem. Mexico is the problem,” said Graham, who has emerged as a vocal Trump ally in past months.
Whiting tells OneNewsNow it would be naïve to believe Mexico would not retaliate.
“It would be very severe,” she predicts. “And I would imagine that Mexico would target U.S. goods where it hurts, and where there will be maximum impact, because they believe these tariffs shouldn't be imposed on them for an issue --- immigration --- that has nothing to do with trade."
Quoting the Center for Immigration Studies, OneNewsNow reported in a June 4 story that Mexico's officials are good at appearing to cooperate with Trump's previous demands to stop the caravans when in reality they are not.