20:43 GMT19 February 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Mexico is facing a potential 25 percent tariff on its car imports to the United States if it does not do enough to stop illegal migration and drug trafficking, US President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House.

    "Before we close the border we'll put the tariffs on the cars," Trump said on Thursday. "I don't think we'll ever have to close the border because the penalty of tariffs on cars coming into the United States from Mexico at 25 percent will be massive."

    Earlier on Thursday, Trump said he would give Mexico a one year warning to stop drug trafficking and illegal migration before the United States imposes tariffs.

    Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Wednesday that Mexico had chosen to follow the strategy of not responding to US statements related to the influx of migrants passing through Mexican territory. Ebrard suggested that Trump’s recent statements were related to the US 2020 presidential election.

    READ MORE: Mexico Won't Act Based on Trump Threats to Close Border — Foreign Minister

    Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said that neither Washington nor Mexico City would benefit from a closure of the border.

    According to Mexico’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, more than 76,000 migrants were detained after trying to get into the United States in February, while in March the figure was expected to increase to 100,000 people.


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