Trump May Take Matters Into His Own Hands With Mexico Tariffs: Here’s Where Republicans Stand on the Idea

Yuri Gripas/Kevin Lamarque/Reuters; Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

There’s division among Republican lawmakers over President Donald Trump’s tariff threat on Mexico.

The president made a statement — which he previously labeled as “very dramatic” — on Thursday to announce his intentions to impose a 5% tariff on all goods imported from Mexico starting June 10, pressing them into a corner to help with the mass influx of illegal immigrants flowing to the U.S. southern border.

As IJR Blue reported, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador called for discussion over Trump’s threat, explaining late Thursday that they were sending a delegation to Washington to negotiate.

“How do you transform the country of fraternity for the world’s migrants into a ghetto, a closed space, where migrants are stigmatized, mistreated, persecuted, expelled and the right for justice is canceled to those who tirelessly seek to live free of misery?” López Obrador wrote in a letter to Trump. “The Statue of Liberty is not an empty symbol.”

However, Trump is seemingly going ahead with his plans to impose the tariffs if Mexico doesn’t step in to help with immigration, as he tweeted again early Friday.


Sen. Lindsey Grahm (R-S.C.) — a vocal supporter of the president — tossed his support behind Trump “to impose tariffs on Mexico until they up their game to help us with our border disaster.”

“If Mexico does not do more we will have over a million illegal immigrants from Central America next year,” Graham warned, adding that he’s not a fan of tariffs “but in this case it is a national security issue and Mexico needs to change their behavior.”

Graham is seemingly outnumbered in supporting Trump, as several of his Republican colleagues criticized the president’s move.

“How many times will Congress let the president unilaterally raise taxes on Americans?” Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) asked in response to Trump imposing a tariff on Mexico. “All the times.”

Instead of the tariff, House Ways and Means Committee ranking member Kevin Brady (R-Texas) offered another solution for the two countries to work together fast on a plan to address the immigration situation.

“Mexico is a valued ally and the new tariffs are not yet in effect, so there is a window here for both countries to find common ground,” he said. “It is in both of our interests to do so, economically and for stronger security.”

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) expressed concerns that if the tariff is imposed, it would negatively affect the trade agreement between U.S., Mexico, and Canda, as she said the trade deal is “much-needed certainty to our agriculture community.”

“If the president goes through with this, I’m afraid progress to get this trade agreement across the finish line will be stifled,” Ernst said.

Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) was harsher on the president’s tariff threat as “trade policy and border security are separate issues,” calling it a “misuse of presidential tariff authority and counter to congressional intent.”

Grassley also believes tariffs would “seriously jeopardize passage of USMCA.”

On dealing with the immigration crisis at the southern border, Grassley said:

“Mexico must help get the border crisis under control and the president should use appropriate authorities to apply pressure. […] Congress must also immediately fully fund border security and interior enforcement. Democrats should come to the table in a reasonable way and work to put an end to the security and humanitarian crisis on the border.”

“I support nearly every one of President Trump’s immigration policies, but this is not one of them,” Grassley said.

What do you think?

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Karin Callaway
Member

Thank you Senator Graham, again. As far as the rest of Congress, I have not heard anything from other republicans except these 4. And Amash is a RINO. I for one say stop the stupid statements and if you want to change things then Use Rick Scott’s saying an (LET’S GET TO WORK). That would be a plus.

Identifies As Batman
Guest
Identifies As Batman

Funny watching Congress have ANY opinion as they literally have done nothing for 5 decades about immigration. The last two things were Reagan pardoning the illegals in the country at the time and Obama with DACA. At the time Obama said he was overstepping, but since Congress was doing nothing, maybe this would get them off of their butts? It clearly didn’t. If Congress doesn’t like someone taking action on a problem they have ignored for 5 decades, maybe they should actually to their stinking jobs??

Dave
Guest
Dave

To bad you people didn’t do your jobs and the President would not have to take such action. As far as Grassley and Ernst they are more worried about selling corn to Mexico than fix the boarder laws.

Gerald
Guest
Gerald

Mexico wants their cake and eat It too, they need to step up and do the right thing, or feel some pain.

Carol Williams
Member

Gee, it wasn’t all that many years ago that the Mexican army caught one of our soldiers. Who had accidently gone into Mexico, while being lost in the desert. He was kept in PRISON for quite some time. If they can keep people out of Mexico at their northern border then, surely they can keep them out at their southern border. And too, our soldier was held at gunpoint.

Bob
Member

The President of Mexico needs to understand that the US border is not an empty symbol either. IF those who are against the tariffs would instead work to get a wall/fence built where needed and stop the invasion, there would be no need for tariffs.

Luci Tomlin
Member

Republicans who do NOT support our President are; Closet Democrats, fence-riding Donkephants, or can’t see far enough ahead to evaluate the TRUE problem, as our President has just done! Congress is about as dependable as a rubber crutch! We can’t “lean on them” for support, or we’d end up on the floor! Our Constitution gives WE the PEOPLE the power to expel our Government officials who constantly fail to do what they were elected to do! Their success rating is below ground level and something should be done about it! It’s the primary reason we can’t get anything positive to… Read more »

Helen Etling
Member

Why doesn’t Congress get busy with revising the immigration laws instead of spending time to “get” the President and his family?

Otis
Member

That is it in a nutshell. Congress is nuts.

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