Trump steps back from Mexico border threat as companies warn of economic fallout
President Donald Trump took a step back on Tuesday from his threat to close the U.S. southern border to fight illegal immigration, as pressure mounted from companies worried that a shutdown would cause chaos to supply chains.
Trump threatened on Friday to close the border this week unless Mexico acted. He repeated that threat on Tuesday but said he had not made a decision yet: “We’re going to see what happens over the next few days.”
Closing the border could disrupt millions of legal crossings and billions of dollars in trade. Auto companies have been warning the White House privately that it would lead to the idling of U.S. plants within days because they rely on prompt deliveries of components made in Mexico.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the largest U.S. business lobbying group, has been in contact with the White House to discuss the “very negative economic consequences that would occur across the country,” said Neil Bradley, the group’s top lobbyist, on a call with reporters.
Trump praised efforts by Mexico to hinder illegal immigration from Central America at its own southern border. On Monday, the Mexican government said it would help regulate the flow of migrants.
“I really wanted to close it,” Trump said on Tuesday night at a fundraiser for congressional Republicans.