U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said late Monday that during a meeting earlier with Mexico's secretary of the economy he repeated President Donald Trump's demands that the nation prevent the flow of undocumented immigrants to the U.S.
Ross had met with Secretary of Economy Graciela Márquez Colín at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington to discuss bilateral trade and Trump's threat to put tariffs on Mexican goods.
"We also discussed next steps for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. I reiterated the President's message that Mexico needs to do more to help the U.S. address immigration across our shared border," said Ross in a statement.
Trump surprised many last week when he said he would impose 5% tariffs on Mexican imports by June 10, if the country did not stop illegal and undocumented immigration into the U.S. He said by October if there's not satisfactory action by Mexico, tariffs could rise to 25%.
In posts on Twitter over the weekend, the president called Mexico an "abuser" that takes but doesn't give.
Márquez Colín, however, said in a statement that the negative effects of tariffs would touch every U.S. state and cost both economies in jobs and dollars.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard separately affirmed that his nation would try to stave off illegal immigration from Central America but that a plan to have Mexico become a place for Central Americans to seek U.S. asylum was out of the question, according to Reuters.
"An agreement about a safe third country would not be acceptable for Mexico," Ebrard said, according to the news service.