President Trump's plan to slap escalating tariffs on all imports from Mexico until the country stops the flow of migrants coming north is being criticized by business leaders—and a GOP senator who is usually a reliable Trump ally. Republican Sen. Charles Grassley, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, slammed the plan Thursday as "a misuse of presidential tariff authority and contrary to congressional intent," reports the Washington Post. Grassley warned that the tariffs, which Trump says will kick in on June 10, will "seriously jeopardize passage" of the new US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement. Trump says the tariffs will start at 5% and rise by 5 percentage points a month to 25% in October if Mexico doesn't stop migrants moving through the country from Central America. More:
- "A national emergency." Trump administration officials described the tariff plan as a way to deal with a national security issue, the New York Times reports. "The situation is both a humanitarian and a border security crisis that has become a national emergency," Kevin McAleenan, the acting secretary of Homeland Security, said Thursday.
- Trump's statement. The US "has been invaded by hundreds of thousands of people coming through Mexico and entering our country illegally," Trump said in a statement released by the White House. He said he was invoking national emergency powers to impose tariffs because Mexico's "passive cooperation in allowing this mass incursion constitutes an emergency and extraordinary threat to the national security and economy of the United States."