Negotiations between the U.S. and Mexico ended with no deal in sight on Wednesday (June 5), after high-stakes talks at the White House and State Department about border security.
And President Donald Trump's threat of punitive tariffs loomed over all of it.
From across the Atlantic, Trump said in a tweet that "Progress is being made, but not nearly enough!" adding that "if no agreement is reached, Tariffs at the 5% level will begin on Monday." (June 10) Trump unexpectedly told Mexico last week to control the tide of migrants entering the U.S., threatening to impose tariffs on all Mexican imports at 5 percent, and to hike them to 25 percent by October if illegal crossings do not cease.
In the U.K. on Day 3 of his a state visit, Trump doubled down on that threat.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "Mexico can stop it.
They have to stop it.
Otherwise we just won't be able to do business." After the talks ended on Wednesday, Mexico's Foreign Minister - who's leading the Mexican delegation - said his meeting with Vice President Mike Pence was devoted to illegal immigration and NOT tariffs.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "So it's difficult to evaluate what the position of Vice President or Secretary of State is about because the tariffs in this was not the main issue." Tariffs have been a main issue for the president's own party, with top Republican Mitch McConnell warning the White House may not have GOP support.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL SAYING: "Well there is not much support in my conference for tariffs." If the tariffs go ahead, the U.S. would be in a serious trade dispute with both China and Mexico, two of its three top trading partners, a situation American business groups are keen to avoid.
Mexico's President is keen to avoid tariffs, too.
Analysts believe they might tip the Mexican economy into a recession.
On Wednesday, he said he was optimistic a deal could be made.
(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PRESIDENT ANDRES MANUEL LOPEZ OBRADOR, SAYING: "We think that a deal will be reached because that's the best for Mexico and the United States // The best thing is free trade, not to put tariffs, to not close us." Meanwhile, Mexico is detaining double the number of migrants per day than it was a year ago.
And the Trump administration said on Wednesday that U.S. border officers apprehended the the highest monthly total of migrants in more than a decade.
Both sides said talks would resume on Thursday (June 6).