On Thursday, President Donald Trump seemed to begin to back off his continued threats of shutting down the U.S.-Mexico border over increased numbers of migrants attempting to gain access into the country and drug trafficking. The change in the White House’s direction comes just days following the president charging to reporters that he would close the southern border if the Mexican government was continuously unable to handle the rising amount of migrants coming from South America to the U.S through Mexico.
While he will not shut down the border, Trump said he would instead give Mexico a “one-year warning” to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S., adding that he would first impose tariffs on automobiles before closing the border. Nevertheless, continuing his tough attitude towards illegal immigration and stopping the flow of drugs from Mexico, the president remarked on closing the border by saying, “I will do it. You know I will do it, I don’t play games, I’ll do it,” which was reported by Politico.
The reversal comes after congressional Republicans, business groups, and even some within the Trump Administration warned the president of the dire economic consequences if the threat metastasized into a full border closure.
Earlier this week, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Kevin Hassett and Director of the U.S. National Economic Council Larry Kudlow, suggested to President Trump that he consider what the move would cost, suggesting that tariffs would be a less economically damaging avenue.
The Commerce Department states that around $502 billion in goods crossed the border through trucks and trains last year, which equates to approximately $1.4 billion per day in trade with Mexico. Moreover, two-way trade between the countries supports an estimated five million American jobs, showing that even the threat of a border shut down can be detrimental.