Trump says there's 'good chance' of deal with Mexico

President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump mocks Murkowski, Cheney election chances Race debate grips Congress US reentry to Paris agreement adds momentum to cities' sustainability efforts MORE said Friday there is a “good chance” the U.S. and Mexico can reach an agreement to avert tariffs over a surge in illegal migration, but said they would go into place Monday as scheduled if the two sides cannot make a deal.

The president said that increased purchases of U.S. agricultural products would be a part of a possible agreement, even though the impetus for the tariffs is immigration and not a trade dispute.

“If we are able to make the deal with Mexico, & there is a good chance that we will, they will begin purchasing Farm & Agricultural products at very high levels, starting immediately. If we are unable to make the deal, Mexico will begin paying Tariffs at the 5% level on Monday!” he tweeted.


Mexican officials have been in Washington all week trying to persuade the Trump administration to hold off on the tariffs, which would have wide-ranging effects on the economies of the U.S. and Mexico. Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard spent much of Friday in meetings at the State Department.

White House officials have said the talks have yielded progress, but that Mexico needed to do more to satisfy Trump’s demands. The White House was planning to post a legal notification of the tariffs on Friday, but one top aide said the notice could be withdrawn or tabled if a deal is reached before Monday.

“I think there is the ability — if negotiations continue to go well — that the president can turn that off at some point over the weekend,” Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Pence, told reporters at the White House.

Trump has received updates on the negotiations but has not taken part in them himself, as he has been on a weeklong trip to the United Kingdom, France and Ireland. 

“Our position hasn’t changed. Tariffs are going to take effect on Monday,” White House press secretary Sarah HuckabeeSarah SandersAndrew Giuliani planning run for New York governor Trump appears at Sarah Huckabee Sanders campaign event Trump likely to form new super PAC MORE Sanders told reporters traveling with the president in Ireland, while noting the talks have been positive.

“They’ve made a lot of progress,” she added. “The meetings have gone well, but as of now we’re still on track for tariffs on Monday.”

Trump intends to declare a new national emergency to impose the tariffs under the 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers Act, according to a draft document obtained by The Hill.

The president announced suddenly last week that he wanted to impose tariffs on Mexico amid mounting frustration over the administration’s inability to curb illegal immigration, one of Trump’s core promises during the 2016 campaign.

The tariffs would begin at 5 percent and increase to 25 percent by October if the Trump administration deems Mexico is not doing enough to crack down on illegal migration.

U.S. and Mexican officials over the past few days have discussed an emerging agreement in which Mexico would send 6,000 national guardsmen to its border with Guatemala to stop migrants from crossing and agree to house migrants seeking asylum in the U.S.

Agricultural purchases were not known to be part of the talks. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.