Trump Puts Mexico on Notice: Stop Illegals, Drug Trafficking or We’ll Tariff Cars, Then Close Border

By Melanie Arter | April 4, 2019 | 3:39pm EDT
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

( – President Donald Trump issued a warning to Mexico on Thursday that if they don’t stop the flow of illegal drugs flowing into the United States, he plans to put tariffs on the cars coming from Mexico.

He also called on them to stop the flow of illegals sneaking over the border.


During a cabinet meeting on the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council, Trump said his earlier threat to close the U.S.-Mexico border seems to be working, but he warned that if Mexico doesn’t continue to crack down on illegal immigration and drug trafficking, he will impose tariffs and then close the border.

“And so for the last four days – and you actually have covered it to a very minor extent – Mexico has been capturing people and bringing them back to their countries at their southern border. They keep people under their very powerful laws - they have the right to do it - and bringing them back to where they came from. That’s been about three days now I guess, frankly, since they thought I was going to close the border,” he said.



The president complained about illegal immigrants pouring into the U.S. and “massive amounts” of drugs coming across the southern border. He said large sections of the border wall are being built and contractors are signing up to construct it.

“So we need help from Mexico. If Mexico doesn’t give the help, that’s okay, we’re going to tariff their cars coming into the United States,” Trump said.

“So the second aspect of it is, which you haven’t heard before, is that if the drugs don’t stop – Mexico can stop them if they want – we’re going to tariff the cars. The cars are very big, and if that doesn’t work, we’re going to close the border, but I think that will work. That is massive numbers of dollars,” he said.

“So if we don’t see people apprehended and brought back to their countries, if we see these massive caravans coming up to our country right through Mexico – coming right through Mexico like nothing. Buses are even given to them. The last three days it hasn’t happened since I said we’re closing the border,” the president said.

“Frankly better but less drastic than closing the border is to tariff the cars coming in, and I will do it. You know I will do it. I don’t play games. I will do it. So we’re doing it to stop people. We’re going to give them a one-year warning, and if the drugs don’t stop or largely stop, we’re going to put tariffs on Mexico and products, particularly cars,” he said.

“The whole ballgame is cars. It’s the big ballgame. With many countries it is cars, and if that doesn’t stop the drugs, we close the border,” the president said.

“So if Mexico doesn’t do what it could do very easily – apprehend these people coming in, and they can do it in a much more humane fashion. Why should they walk up 2,000 miles and then be pushed out? They can stop them right at their southern border, right where they come into Mexico,” he said.

“And they have unbelievable immigration laws where they have the right to do it - the most powerful in the world, as good as you can have,” the president said, adding that “if they don’t do it, we’re going to tax the cars, and if that doesn’t work, we’re going to close the border.”

“So we will put tariffs on if they don’t apprehend, and ultimately, we’re going to give a period of time, and if a year from now drugs continue to pour in, we’re going to put tariffs on,” he said.


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