Trump says wait-and-see approach on border closure

During his speech at the National Republican Congressional Committee's annual spring dinner on Tuesday, President Donald Trump seemed to back off his threat of closing the border between the United States and Mexico.

For American farmers and grocery shoppers, a border closing "would be disruptive really quickly", said Veronica Nigh, an economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Trump has also been told by some advisers that it would be extremely hard to operationally shut down the border, but he has told them to move forward with looking at ways to achieve the feat.

The US Chamber of Commerce, the largest US business lobbying group, has been in contact with the White House to discuss the "very negative economic consequences that would occur across the country", said Neil Bradley, the group's top lobbyist, on a call with reporters.

"I'm ready to close it if I have to close it", President Trump said to reporters on Tuesday in his Oval Office.

He added that a heat wave in California also limited the avocado harvest in the state, making the USA mostly dependent on Mexico for the crop.

Trump said Mexican officials had reacted to his threat to close the border last week by clamping down on the caravans of migrants fleeing poverty and violence in the three Central American countries.

A few days ago when these threats first emerged, I commented Trump Threatens to Close Entire Mexican Border: Instant Recession If Carried Out.

But Senate Republican Lindsey Graham of SC, a Trump ally, said he's "all for" closing the border if it will "compel Congress to fix the underlying problem".

His administration is grappling with a surge of Central American migrants trying to enter the US, and Trump said last week he'd seal the border in the coming days if Mexico did not immediately halt all illegal immigration into the U.S. Average wait times at Brownsville, Texas, were 180 minutes Monday, twice the length of peak times previous year. "We hope that that continues, and that we can work with them so we don't have to [close the border]". Advisers told him it's not a sustainable option, underscored how it would disrupt the economy and noted it would anger local border officials throughout the country.

Trump has used a similar approach before with trade negotiations and even in the run-up to the government shutdown a year ago. The wiring harness example is interesting because she notes that eventually the part would be irrelevant, so there's no push to source the part in the U.S. Other parts involved ranging from engine components to anchors for seatbelt are built outside of the U.S. and plants have neither the space or the ability to stockpile those goods.

"Any action that stops commerce at the border would be harmful to the United States economy, and in particular, the auto industry".

Mexican officials announced Monday they'd pulled 338 Central American migrants -181 adults and 157 children- off five passenger buses in a southern state that borders Guatemala, and said they had detained 15 possible smugglers on immigration law violations.

Meanwhile, President Trump doubled down on his threat to close the U.S. -Mexico border in a recent tweet. But Trump has so far refused to back down. About 50% of vegetables and 40% of fruit imported to the USA are grown in Mexico, according to U.S Department of Agriculture data.

"I don't think it's likely that Mexico comes up with anything tangible that actually satisfies or solves any of the problems that we allegedly have on the border". And U.S. companies exported $243.3 billion in goods. She reportedly added that 900,000 people are coming to the USA this year "without any legal right to stay".

  • Joey Payne