Donald Trump Defends His Tariffs Against Critics, Says Mexico Is Taking ‘Advantage’ Of U.S.

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Donald Trump was forced to defend his newly announced tariffs on Mexico on Friday morning after facing backlash for the plan. On Friday, the president sent a series of tweets saying that he believes open borders lead to crime and condemning Democrats for failing to address the “crisis on the border” and Mexico for taking “advantage” of the United States.

Trump announced a new plan for tariffs on all goods imported from Mexico on Thursday, as The Inquisitr reported. That tariff, which will impact $346.5 billion in imports, would begin at 5 percent on all goods and increase to 10 percent in July if the country doesn’t address the crisis. The tariff will continue to climb until it reaches 25 percent.

The move is intended to force Mexico to do something to stop the flow of undocumented immigrants crossing the border.

Trump was immediately hit with criticism for the move, which many called an attack on an important ally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also dropped 300 points after the president made the announcement as fears of a trade war escalated. Meanwhile, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador sent a team to Washington in order to negotiate an agreement over the tariffs.

Trump addressed his critics, first taking aim at Democrats, who he says want “open borders.”

He then attacked Mexico, saying that the country needs to address the immigration situation and stop taking advantage of the United States.

“Mexico has taken advantage of the United States for decades. Because of the Dems, our Immigration Laws are BAD. Mexico makes a FORTUNE from the U.S., have for decades, they can easily fix this problem,” he tweeted. “Time for them to finally do what must be done!”

A few minutes later, he warned that Mexico needs to address its drug problem, and said that his tariffs will force companies to return manufacturing to the United States.

“In order not to pay Tariffs, if they start rising, companies will leave Mexico, which has taken 30% of our Auto Industry, and come back home to the USA,” he wrote in a second tweet. “Mexico must take back their country from the drug lords and cartels. The Tariff is about stopping drugs as well as illegals!”

Beyond the uncertainty in the markets that the tariffs have generated, the plan could also threaten Trump’s plan to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. Currently, the administration is negotiating a deal with Canada and Mexico that is called the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, though it isn’t clear how these new tariffs will impact that deal.