McConnell hopes to avoid Trump confrontation on Mexico tariffs

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse votes to condemn Chinese government over Hong Kong 15 Senate Republicans pledge to oppose lifting earmark ban It's not 'woketivism,' it's good business MORE (R-Ky.) says Senate Republicans are hoping to avoid a direct confrontation with President TrumpDonald TrumpHouse votes to condemn Chinese government over Hong Kong Former Vice President Walter Mondale dies at age 93 White House readies for Chauvin verdict 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 PompeoMike PompeoThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - All US adults now eligible for COVID vaccines Parade of 2024 GOP hopefuls court House conservatives Pompeo violated ethics rules, State Dept. watchdog finds 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.”