White House officials spoke on June 7 about the ongoing talks between U.S. and Mexican officials, characterizing the progress as encouraging but so far insufficient in terms of Mexican efforts to improve the immigration crisis. The vice president’s Chief of Staff Marc Short mentioned that a legal notification of the plan to implement tariffs will go forward today unless the president says otherwise.
He said, “I think we’re encouraged that Mexico came prepared to put solutions on the table. But on Wednesday, I think we felt that they were wholly insufficient. They were a step forward but insufficient. As negotiations continued yesterday we were more encouraged that they came forward with some of the things that we put on the table Wednesday to say they were open to that. But there is a long way to go still. That’s the bottom line. And so the legal teams are talking today and we’ll see how that progresses. But it’s it’s clear that there’s still a long way to go.”
In response to a reporter question about the next step, Short said, “There’s a legal notification that goes forward today with the plan to implement tariffs on Monday but I think that there is the ability, if negotiations continue to go well, but the president can turn that off at some point over the weekend. But there it has a requirement if you’re going to effect money it has to be noticed today. So you should anticipate that happening today.”
Addressing reporters concerns about the pending implementation of tariffs on Mexican goods, Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassert implied that President Trump will make that call on the adequacy of the Mexican efforts with the border problem after he returns from Normandy, France, this afternoon.
He said, “You know, I am not the secretary of state but I have been updated on what’s going on, there has been a lot of progress at the talks and my understanding is that the minute the president lands and you guys know the time better than me about 4:30 that he’s going to be presented with the material progress and then he’s going to put everything on the table and make a decision about next steps.”
Responding to a reporter asking, ‘Is there a possibility, do you think, that he is going to decide to delay?’ to which Hassert said, “I think it’s possible that, you know, the president has all the options on the table but the talks have been very collegial, amicable and you know my briefing on them has been that there’s been a lot of progress where our technical experts who have really taken a deep dive into what the Mexicans could do to help get out in front of the border problem that the Mexicans have agreed to do a lot of those things. But whether they’ve done enough to satisfy the president who knows this issue better than anybody is something that we’ll find out when he lands at 4:30.”
While President Trump plans to impose a 5 percent tariff if Mexico fails to demonstrate sufficient effort in stemming the flow of Central American migrants across the U.S. southern border, Marc Short explained that asylum proceedings will need to take place in Mexico and not the United States.
Responding to a reporter’s question about the asylum policy, Short said, “Well, I think that that’s the rub, we have recommended safe third policies, as you’ve heard Secretary McAleenan testify to, that would say that if you’re from a country south of Mexico and you step into Mexico, it would require that that’s where your asylum proceedings have to take place as opposed to the United States, because our asylum laws are so broken. And that’s really I think a focus of where negotiations are today.”
Finally, Short added, “I think that the decision will be for the president to make. Again, it’s less about the process of negotiation. It’s more about actually seeing what are the actions taken that will drop those numbers. 144-thousand last month. We’re on pace this year for over a million apprehensions on our side of the border. The apprehension on the other side of the border had been declining. So we need to see Mexico’s actions.”
Includes reporting from the Associated Press
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