- The Washington Times - Friday, May 31, 2019

White House economic adviser Peter Navarro said Friday that President Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on Mexico is justified because the country is “exporting” illegal immigrants to the U.S.

“If you look at it from an investor’s point of view and a corporate point of view, what we have in Mexico is the export, one of their high exports, of illegal aliens,” Mr. Navarro said on CNBC. “And it’s a criminal enterprise.”

As the stock market plummeted in response to the president’s threatened move, Mr. Navarro also urged investors to understand that Mr. Trump’s action is “brilliant.”

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“I would suggest to investors to look at this calmly. Look at what we’re trying to do,” Mr. Navarro said. “This is actually a brilliant move by the president to get Mexico’s attention to get them to help us. Because so far they’ve just been standing by, and they really have the power to help us.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 260 points at midday, or about 1%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq was down 1.1%.

Mr. Navarro said Mexico must disrupt the “transnational criminal organizations” that are helping to smuggle illegal immigrants from Central America.

“What’s happening now is Mexico, by being a bystander in this criminal enterprise, is imposing enormous costs on the United States,” he said. “On our welfare system, on our criminal justice system.”

The president warned on Twitter late Thursday that the U.S. will impose a 5% tariff beginning June 10 on all Mexican products “until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP.”

He said the tariff will increase by 5% per month up to 25%, unless Mexico “substantially” stops illegal immigrants from reaching the U.S.

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