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Trump calls Mexico an ‘abuser’ of US, defends trade move

US President Donald Trump has ruled out the possibility of holding talks with Mexico to resolve differences with the southern neighbor and accused the country of abusing the United States.

Bilateral ties between the two neighbors have been on shaky ground since the American head of state pledged to build a long wall along the US-Mexico border to stop the flow of immigrants into his country and said he would make Mexico pay for it.

“The problem is that Mexico is an “abuser” of the United States, taking but never giving. It has been this way for decades,” Trump said in tweet on Sunday.

“Either they stop the invasion of our Country by Drug Dealers, Cartels, Human Traffickers…Coyotes and Illegal Immigrants, which they can do very easily, or our many companies and jobs that have been foolishly allowed to move South of the Border, will be brought back into the United States through taxation (Tariffs),” he added. “America has had enough!”

Trump announced in a statement on Thursday that Washington would impose tariffs on all goods coming from Mexico in an effort to curb the flow of illegal immigrants crossing the southern border.

The White House website said the tariffs will start at 5 percent on June 10 and increase monthly until reaching 25 percent on October 1 unless Mexico takes immediate action.

In another tweet on Sunday, the US president also lashed out at Democrats and urges them to vote with Republicans “to fix the loopholes” without further elaboration.

“The Democrats are doing nothing on the Border to address the Humanitarian and National Security Crisis! Could be fixed so easily if they would vote with Republicans to fix the loopholes,” Trump wrote.

The comments were made ahead of a planned high-level meeting in Washington this week to discuss the border situation.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard is expected to meet with his US counterpart, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, and other officials to attempt to defuse the trade dispute over the new tariffs.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador expressed optimism on Saturday about achieving “good results” from the talks and called the US president his “friend.”

Last Thursday, a federal judge turned down the US administration’s request to begin building the wall using Pentagon funds while it appeals an earlier order blocking the use of the funds.

Building the wall was one of Trump’s most frequently repeated campaign promises.

He vowed to crack down on illegal immigration in part by building the wall on the border with Mexico but more than three years into his term, the US president has failed to fulfill that promise.

Congress refusal to provide the president with the $5.7 billion he needs to build the wall resulted in the longest government shutdown in the US.