Trump says "millions" of migrants entering the U.S. through Mexico is "unacceptable" and that Mexico must stop it. He says he thinks Mexico will take steps to halt the migrant flow but, "if they won't, we're going to put tariffs on."
The president last week to impose a monthly 5% tariff on Mexican imports starting Monday, rising to a total of 25% by October.
Mexican officials are in Washington to meet with their Trump administration counterparts and predicted Tuesday that an agreement could be reached during talks scheduled for Wednesday to avoid the tariffs.
Trump commented at a news conference in London with outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May.
Mexico says it thinks there's likely to be an agreement Wednesday with the United States that will avoid a 5% tariff on Mexican goods announced last week by President Donald Trump.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard told reporters Tuesday that despite his optimism, his team also will be ready for a non-agreement scenario.
Ebrard arrived in Washington last weekend to meet Wednesday with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (pahm-PAY'-oh). Mexico calls the potential tariff hurtful to both economies and useless to slow down the flow of Central Americans migrating north.
The diplomatic counteroffensive launched by Mexico this week includes a Tuesday meeting of trade negotiator Jesus Seade with U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer.
Trump says he'll impose the tariff beginning June 10 to force Mexico to keep mostly Central American migrants from crossing into the U.S.