AUTO INDUSTRY/BORDER/DRUGS/TARIFFS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Days after threatening to close the U.S. border with Mexico, President Donald Trump suggested Thursday [4-4-19] that his administration would slap tariffs on autos long before it considered sealing the nation off from its southern neighbor. ‘I don’t think we’ll ever have to close the border,’ Trump said in the Oval Office.  Trump’s statement marked a significant departure from his position  last week, when he said there was a ‘very good likelihood’ he would close the border this week. The White House faced sharp blowback from business groups and Republicans on Capitol Hill for the threat. A closure would disrupt the flow of roughly $1.5 billion in daily trade.  White House aides sought to soften the language through the week as the president prepared for a visit Friday to the border in California. Trump said earlier Thursday that he would give Mexico a year to halt the flow of illegal drugs coming into the USA. If the drugs didn’t stop, he said, the United States would impose tariffs on Mexican-made cars. If that didn’t work, Trump said, then the United States would close the Mexican border.”

Michael Collins, John Fritze and David Jackson, “President Trump says US may never close the Mexico border, would try tariffs first,” USA Today, April 4, 2019 7:08 pm