(CNSNews.com) - The threat of tariffs on Mexico "is out there," President Donald Trump said Tuesday, and he expects the first round to take effect next week. He said negotiations to avoid the tariffs "haven't really started yet."
"This will take effect next week, at 5 percent," Trump told a news conference in London.
Trump dismissed reports that congressional Republicans may block the tariffs:
"No, I don't think they will do that. I think if they do, it's foolish. There's nothing more important than borders. I've had tremendous Republican support. I have a...94 percent approval rating as of this morning in the Republican Party. That's an all-time record. Can you believe that? Isn't that something? I love records," Trump said.
I want to see security in our border. I'm going to see great trade. I'm going to see a lot of things happening. And that is happening.
And as you know, Mexico called. They want to meet. They're going to meet on Wednesday. Secretary Pompeo is going to be at the meeting along with a few others that are very good at this, and we are going to see if we can do something. But I think it's more likely that the tariffs go on. And we'll probably be talking during the time that the tariffs are on, and they're going to be paid.
And if they don't step up and give us security for our nation -- look, millions of people are flowing through Mexico. That's unacceptable. Millions and millions of people are coming right through Mexico. It's a 2,000-mile journey. And they're coming up to our border, and our Border Patrol, which is incredible, they're apprehending them.
But our laws are bad because Democrats don't want to pass laws that could be passed in 15 minutes, that could be passed quickly. In one day it could change. But even beyond the laws, Mexico shouldn't allow millions of people to try and enter our country. And they could stop it very quickly. And I think they will.
And if they won't, we're going to put tariffs on.
Trump noted that the tariffs will increase every month if the situation doesn't change. And in that case, he said, American companies that have gone to Mexico will come back. "And that's okay," he added.
Trump said he doesn't want to hear the excuse that Mexico is run by drug lords, cartels and coyotes.
"I don't want to hear about that," he said. "Mexico should step up and stop this onslaught, this invasion, into our country."