Team Trump on Wednesday appeared to back off the president’s threat to slap 5 percent tariffs on Mexican imports, with a top White House trade official suggesting they wouldn’t be needed because the US now has “the Mexicans’ attention” on border security.
“We believe that these tariffs may not have to go into effect precisely because we have the Mexicans’ attention,” trade adviser Peter Navarro told CNN.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, had also opposed the tariffs, which Trump threatened to increase to 25 percent if Mexico didn’t stop asylum seekers from entering the US over the southern border.
Some senators predicted that they even had the votes to override a Trump veto of a congressional rebuke of the tariffs.
And the president himself predicted Wednesday that Mexico would take unspecified measures to comply with his demands.