Mexican Sen. Armando Rios Piter warned during an interview with MSNBC Friday that Mexico might abandon its efforts to help defeat ISIS in response to President Donald Trump’s recent actions.
“We should stop collaborating with the United States, with this hostile administration specifically,” Piter told MSNBC, “regarding security issues, regarding antiterrorism that we’ve been working [on] together the last years.”
Western Journalism reports,
Piter said Mexico, which works with the U.S. on issues like narcotic trafficking, money laundering, the environment and national security, should stop cooperating in response to Trump’s push to build a wall along the U.S. southern border and his call for a 20 percent tariff on imports from Mexico.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer offered the tariff proposal Thursday as he discussed how Trump could make Mexico pay for the wall.
“When you look at the plan that’s taking shape now, using comprehensive tax reform as a means to tax imports from countries that we have a trade deficit from, like Mexico,” Spicer told reporters on Air Force One.
“If you tax that $50 billion at 20 percent of imports — which is, by the way, a practice that 160 other countries do — right now our country’s policy is to tax exports and let imports flow freely in, which is ridiculous,” he continued. “By doing that we can do $10 billion a year and easily pay for the wall just through that mechanism alone. That’s really going to provide the funding.”
Piter warned during his interview with MSNBC that Mexico will seek retribution against the United States if it imposes the import tax.
“We need to analyze this 20 percent tax we’ve heard of yesterday. And I think we will retaliate. For instance in the states of the Corn Belt I think we should start thinking of not buying anymore corn to those states,” Piter said.
Trump has said the U.S. will front the money for the wall and be reimbursed later.
The newly sworn-in president signed two executive orders Wednesday concerning immigration. One of the orders mandates the construction of the wall and the reinforcement of internal immigration enforcement, a key campaign promise for Trump. The other punishes so-called sanctuary cities that offer refuge to illegal immigrants.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto responded Wednesday, reaffirming that Mexico will not pay for a border wall.
“Far from uniting us, it divides us,” Peña Nieto said in a recorded video message. “Mexico does not believe in walls.”
Read more at Western Journalism