In a tweet sent late Thursday evening, President Donald Trump announced the U.S. would impose a 5 percent tariff on all goods coming from Mexico in an effort to force them to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the U.S.
"On June 10th, the United States will impose a 5% Tariff on all goods coming into our Country from Mexico, until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP. The Tariff will gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied,"
The tariffs will increase by 5 percent every month until it reaches 25 percent on Oct. 1 until the illegal immigration problem is remedied, according to a separate statement from the White House.
Because of the trade war currently going on between China and the U.S., Mexico has become the country's biggest partner in trade, selling $347 billion in goods across the border. Wall Street immediately reacted to the news of the new tariffs, falling more than 300 points after the opening bell.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that he intended to avoid a confrontation with the United States over immigration, but didn't mince words about Trump's proposal.
“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.Social problems cannot be resolved with taxes or coercive measures."
Trump defended his proposal in a tweet Friday morning, writing that Mexico had been taking advantage of the U.S. for decades.
"Because of the Dems, our Immigration Laws are BAD,"Trump said. "Mexico makes a FORTUNE from the U.S., have for decades, they can easily fix this problem. Time for them to finally do what must be done!"