Trump backs off threat to close southern border immediately, says he’ll give Mexico ‘one-year warning’ on drugs, migrants

President Donald Trump declares a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border while speaking about border security in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 15, 2019.
President Donald Trump declares a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border while speaking about border security in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 15, 2019.
 REUTERS/Carlos Barria

President Trump on Thursday backed down from his threat to close the southern border immediately, telling reporters at the White House that he is giving Mexico a “one-year warning” before taking action.

Trump had said he would close the border or at least large sections of it, this week if Mexico does not halt illegal immigration into the United States.

But in Thursday’s exchange with reporters, Trump shifted gears, saying that if Mexico does not make progress on stemming the flow of drugs and migrants into the United States within the next year, he will impose tariffs on cars and close the border.

“We’re going to give them a one-year warning, and if the drugs don’t stop or largely stop, we’re going to put tariffs on Mexico and products, particularly cars . . . And if that doesn’t stop the drugs, we close the border,” Trump said.

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