Trump holds firm on Mexico tariffs despite Republican dissent

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Trump’s drastic tariff threat sent shockwaves through Washington, sparking concerns inside the White House and on Capitol Hill that a new trade offensive would scuttle efforts to ratify a replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement — and drag down the US economy, which relies heavily on Mexican-produced cars, machines and foodstuffs, just as the 2020 campaign is taking off.

But incensed by a spike in migrants crossing illegally into the US this week, the President ignored warnings from US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin with his decision to move ahead Thursday with a vow to impose import duties on all goods from Mexico until steps are taken to curb the the flow of migrants.

Lighthizer, who has been working to build support for the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement in Congress, warned Trump the move would hamper ratification of the trade deal, while Mnuchin warned Trump the move would roil the stock market, multiple sources told CNN. And when the announcement came down Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence was on Air Force Two, returning from a trip to Canada to assure the prime minister the administration was all-in on the trade deal.

The deliberations pitted Lighthizer and Mnuchin against a trio of influential presidential advisers: senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, trade adviser Peter Navarro and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who all supported Trump’s tariff gambit, the sources said.

In a CNBC interview Friday…



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