WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Tom Reed is defending President Trump’s threat to impose a five-percent tariff on Mexico as talks over enhanced immigration enforcement continue.

Reed told WENY News this week he does not think the tariffs on Mexico, which could go into effect on Monday, will hurt ongoing trade talks between the two countries as they try to patch up the new NAFTA deal known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

Instead, he’s supporting the White House decision despite some Republicans calling the move a bad idea that could enflame the trade war and cost jobs.

If Trump signs the executive order ahead of the Friday deadline, that tariff would take effect Monday on all products coming into the U.S. from Mexico on everything from cars to produce and more. Mexican leaders have been in Washington this week trying to hammer out a deal with U.S. officials on enhanced immigration enforcement. Those talks could continue into the weekend.

Even if Trump signs the order Friday afternoon, he could rescind the order over the weekend and the tariffs would be void. However, if no deal is reached, the president has said that 5 percent tariff will take effect on Monday.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, some Senate Republicans are still uncomfortable with the tariff talk. On the House side, a little more support from members like Reed. He sees it as part of a bigger picture. The tariff would essentially act as a punishment on Mexico from President Trump, who says Mexico isn’t doing enough to stop migrants from entering the U.S. on the Southern border. 

“There is obviously an issue at the border, there is obviously a crisis that is going on,” Reed said, citing the ongoing humanitarian crisis. “(President Trump) is going to use, as you’ve seen with President Trump, all of the tools in the tool box to achieve the outcome that’s best for America.”

All of this comes as Congress considers the revised NAFTA trade deal, the USMCA. Reed said he thinks Congress could pass the deal right now, but is blaming Democrats for not bringing it to a full vote in what he says is all about “presidential politics” and “not giving President Trump a victory on this trade agenda.”