Mexican President Attacks Trump After Tariffs: ‘America First Is a Fallacy’

Hours after President Donald Trump announced a 5 percent blanket tariff on all Mexican imports, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador wrote a letter to Trump on Thursday expressing his displeasure.

“With all due respect, although you have the right to express it, ‘America First’ is a fallacy because until the end of times, even beyond national borders, justice and universal fraternity will prevail,” López Obrador, who’s nicknamed AMLO, wrote in Spanish, according to Axios.

The Mexican leader said he is looking to avoid any type of confrontation with the United States, and explained that Mexico is doing “as much as possible” to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States “without violating human rights.”

“The Statue of Liberty is not an empty symbol,” he said, arguing that “social problems are not solved with duties or coercive measures.”

López Obrador also said his foreign relations secretary will be leading a delegation to the United States in an attempt to find a solution to Trump’s threat of more tariffs, The Associated Press reported.

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The Mexican president asked Trump to “please, remember that I do not lack valor.”

“I am not a coward nor timorous but rather act according to principles,” he wrote.

At a news conference Thursday, Jesus Seade, Mexico’s undersecretary for North America and López Obrador’s trade negotiator, took a shot at the tariff, saying that if Trump really does impose it, Mexico “should respond in a forceful way.”

Trump said Thursday the 5 percent tariff on Mexican imports, which takes effect June 10, is an attempt to force Mexico to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States.

Trump made the announcement over Twitter after alluding to it earlier in the day.

And while the tariff starts at 5 percent, the president wrote on Twitter that it could eventually be increased “until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied.”

While the Mexican government clearly isn’t pleased with Trump’s announcement, Trump is also receiving criticism from his own party.

“Trade policy and border security are separate issues,” Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said Thursday, according to the AP.

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“This is a misuse of presidential tariff authority and counter to congressional intent,” Grassley said.

He argued that the tariff proposal “would seriously jeopardize passage” of the newly crafted trade deal that includes Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Trump seemed to double down Friday, writing on Twitter that Mexico has “taken advantage of the United States for decades.”

“Because of the Dems, our Immigration Laws are BAD. Mexico makes a FORTUNE from the U.S., have for decades, they can easily fix this problem,” Trump wrote.

“Time for them to finally do what must be done!”

He added that as a result of tariffs, companies will “leave Mexico, which has taken 30% of our Auto Industry, and come back home to the USA.”

Trump also urged Mexico to “take back their country from the drug lords and cartels.”

“The Tariff,” he said, “is about stopping drugs as well as illegals!”

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