After Trump Walks Back Border Threat, Kudlow Tells Mexico: Take Him ‘Seriously’

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April 7, 2019 12:42 p.m.

A few days after President Donald Trump punted on his vague threat to “close” the U.S.-Mexico border, the White House’s top economic adviser said Sunday that Mexico should still take the President’s threats seriously.

“Based on the President’s view, we’re not going to go there whole hog,” Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, told CBS News’ Margaret Brennan of Trump’s former threat to close the border over undocumented migrants and asylum-seekers.

He added, referring to Trump’s renewed threat to slap 25% tariffs on cars imported from Mexico: “When he talks about getting tough if he has to, we’re not there, but people should take it quite seriously, Mexico should take it quite seriously.”

“They should take the President quite seriously,” Kudlow said.

Brennan asked if adding steep tariffs to auto imports would be self-defeating, given that Mexico must also approve the USMCA, Trump’s proposed update to NAFTA.

“In the fullness of time, this will all be worked out and it will not interfere with USMCA,” Kudlow said. “That’s our hope in any event.”

Last week, within a few days, Trump went from threatening to fully close the border if Mexico “doesn’t immediately stop ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States throug [sic] our Southern Border” to punting his threat for a year.

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