Trump says he's looking at economic penalty over drugs coming from Mexico

US President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departs for the US-Mexico border from the White House in Washington, US, on April 5, 2019.
US President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departs for the US-Mexico border from the White House in Washington, US, on April 5, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US President Donald Trump said on Friday (April 5) he is considering an economic penalty apart from tariffs to counter the smuggling of drugs from Mexico across the southern US border.

Mr Trump threatened on Thursday to put a 25 per cent tariff on cars coming from Mexico into the United States if Mexico does not continue to help Washington deal with the immigration and drug situation along the border.

He repeated that warning on Friday morning and added,"Likewise I am looking at an economic penalty for the 500 Billion Dollars in illegal DRUGS that are shipped and smuggled through Mexico and across our Southern Border."

Mr Trump made the comments on Twitter as he prepared to leave the White House for a two-day trip that will include a visit to the border.

It was not immediately clear what other penalties the US President was considering. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for elaboration.

Mr Trump said the tariff decision related to drugs would supplant provisions of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, known as USMCA.

"If for any reason Mexico stops apprehending and bringing the illegals back to where they came from, the US will be forced to Tariff at 25% all cars made in Mexico and shipped over the Border to us. If that doesn't work, which it will, I will close the Border," Mr Trump said on Twitter on Friday.

 

"This will supersede USMCA."