June 6 (UPI) -- Mexico will probably be hit with new U.S. tariffs on exported products because not enough progress has been made in negotiations, President Donald Trump and administration officials say.
Trump announced the tariffs last week, saying Mexico will have to pay extra for exports unless it does more to slow the flow of illegal immigration into the United States. Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Wednesday with Mexican officials to discuss efforts and progress. Trump said more talks will happen Thursday.
"Progress is being made, but not nearly enough!" he tweeted. "Border arrests for May are at 133,000 because of Mexico and the Democrats in Congress refusing to budge on immigration reform."
"Talks with Mexico will resume [Thursday] with the understanding that, if no agreement is reached, tariffs at the 5 percent level will begin on Monday, with monthly increases as per schedule. The higher the tariffs go, the higher the number of companies that will move back to the USA," Trump added.
One of the sticking points in the negotiations is the U.S. insistence that Mexico enter into a "third safe country" treaty, which would make Mexico grant asylum to immigrants there. Mexico has so far rejected that proposal. The White House has also demanded Mexico hold migrants in their country until their asylum claims can be heard in the United States.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents arrested more than 144,200 at America's southern border with Mexico last month, marking a 32 percent jump from April and the most in seven years. Mexican officials said they have added military security to its southern border with Guatemala and targeted organized crime involved in border trafficking.
In the meantime, congressional Republicans appeared cool to Trump's idea of taxing Mexico over immigration, with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell asking the White House Tuesday to delay the tariffs until the president returns from his European trip. Trump spent three days in Britain before stopping in France Thursday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
Trump does have some congressional support for the new tariffs.
"I don't generally like tariffs either," Florida Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted. "But what alternative do my GOP colleagues have to get #Mexico to secure its southern border, use the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to screen northbound rail cars & vehicles & act on intel we provide on human traffickers?"