One of the U.S. Senate’s most vocal free trade advocates praised President Donald Trump’s tariff threats against Mexico.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, said the President secured a foreign policy victory with recent trade talks.
“By using all tools available to him under U.S. law, President Trump has advanced the protection of our national security interests,” Rubio said.
Trump announced Friday night the U.S. would not impose tariffs as planned on neighboring nation.
“I am pleased to inform you that The United States of America has reached a signed agreement with Mexico,” Trump tweeted.
“The Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended. Mexico, in turn, has agreed to take strong measures to stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border. This is being done to greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States.”
Rubio, while remaining a critic of tariffs generally, suggested earlier this week the economic tool was being used to negotiate on immigration. He made clear on Wednesday he would not be part of any Republican Senate revolt on the issue.
“I don’t generally like tariffs either,” Rubio tweeted. “But what alternative do my GOP colleagues have to get #Mexico to secure its southern border, use the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to screen northbound rail cars & vehicles & act on intel we provide on human traffickers?”
Now Rubio has joined with Trump on a victory lap, saying the economic pressure made Mexico blink.
“While I generally do not support imposing tariffs, except in cases of legitimate violations of U.S. trade law, Mexico’s lack of commitment when it comes to addressing the unsustainable and dangerous migratory crisis at our Southern Border has left this administration no other choice,” Rubio said.
“By exerting maximum pressure and demanding decisive action from the López Obrador administration, President Trump has secured an important victory on behalf of the American people.”