WASHINGTON, D.C. -- James Carafano, vice president of the Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, and Jack Spencer, vice president of Heritage's Institute for Economic Freedom, released the following response to Pres. Trump's announcement of punitive tariffs on imports from Mexico in connection with the increasing flow of illegal migrants through Mexico:
“Today, Pres. Trump announced his intention to impose punitive five-percent tariffs on all imports from Mexico beginning June 10 – increasing to 25 percent by October – which would remain in place until Mexico 'steps up' cooperation in stopping illegal immigration across our southern border. These tariffs are the wrong policy for addressing the crisis at the border.
“Mexico can and should do more. Our nations can only be secure and prosperous if we work together, and the president should press to make this partnership stronger. This policy, however, is not the way to do so.
“While Americans are greatly harmed by illegal immigration, these tariffs would only further punish our citizens, forcing them to pay more for basic goods and services every day – all because Washington has consistently failed to do its job.
“To Pres. Trump’s credit, he has put forward the most consequential and efficacious plan by any president in the modern era for fixing our broken border and outdated immigration system. Heritage research has argued these recommendations are exactly right. Further, the president has boldly taken many lawful and appropriate measures at his disposal to address the crisis, despite open and deeply partisan opposition in Congress.
“We urge both the presidents of the U.S. and Mexico to quickly agree on a joint plan of action and for the administration to reserve the use of tariffs for appropriate purposes.”