McConnell hopes to avoid Trump confrontation on Mexico tariffs

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSara Gideon wins Democratic race to challenge Susan Collins Schumer pushes for elimination of SALT deduction cap in next coronavirus relief bill Dunford withdraws from consideration to chair coronavirus oversight panel MORE (R-Ky.) says Senate Republicans are hoping to avoid a direct confrontation with President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pitches Goya Foods products on Twitter Sessions defends recusal: 'I leave elected office with my integrity intact' Former White House physician Ronny Jackson wins Texas runoff MORE over tariffs and that a deal with the Mexican government will be reached this week.

“There is not much support in my conference for tariffs, that’s for sure,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday after GOP senators met with administration officials to discuss Trump’s threat to slap a 5 percent tariff on Mexican goods to put pressure on Mexico to stop illegal immigration at the southern border.


But McConnell says he and his colleagues hope to avoid a floor vote on a resolution that would disapprove of Trump’s declaration of a national emergency and block his proposed tariffs, which would steadily increase to 25 percent by October if Mexico fails to crack down on migrants.

A Mexican delegation is in Washington this week negotiating how to solve the problems at the border. Their visit will culminate in a Wednesday meeting with a U.S. delegation headed by Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoUS praises British ban on China's Huawei after pressure campaign Overnight Defense: Panel approves 4.6B bill addressing border wall funds, Confederate name changes | Navy ship fire rages on Trump says he has no plans to speak with Chinese president MORE

“Most of us hope that this Mexican delegation that’s come up here and discussed the challenges at the border — and what the Mexicans might be able to do to help us more than they have — will be fruitful and that these tariffs will not kick in,” McConnell told reporters.

Asked about a possible vote on a resolution disapproving of Trump’s latest tariffs threat against Mexico, McConnell said, “We’re hoping that doesn’t happen.”

“We spent almost the entire lunch talking to representatives from the White House about this issue,” he said after GOP senators had lunch with representatives from the White House counsel’s office and the Department of Justice.

“I know the Mexican delegation is here. Apparently, these talks are going well. Our hope is the tariffs will be avoided,” he said. “We’re not fans of tariffs. We’re still hoping this can be avoided.”