Business groups are considering legal action against the White House over Mexico tariffs

GP: Trump WH Depature Colorado
President Donald Trump speaks to the press before departing from the South Lawn
of the White House in Washington, D.C.
Sarah Silbiger | The Washington Post | Getty Images

U.S. business groups are considering suing the White House over the Trump administration’s new tariffs on Mexican imports. 

The powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce is mulling its legal options in response to the duties, the group’s Senior Vice President of International Affairs John Murphy told reporters Friday. Business groups more broadly are discussing the possibility of suing the White House, and a decision on how to proceed is expected by Monday, a source told CNBC. 

On Thursday night, the president announced the U.S. would put 5% tariffs on goods from Mexico starting June 10. The Trump administration says it hopes the duties will force America’s southern neighbor to curb illegal immigration — though the president cited manufacturing jobs and trade deficits as motivation for the tariffs in Friday tweets. The White House said the duties would gradually rise to 25% by October 2019. 

The surprise announcement Thursday sent U.S. stock markets tumbling Friday. Major U.S. indexes dipped more than 0.75% in morning trading.

The tariff plan also raised fears about whether the U.S., Mexico and Canada can ratify the United States Mexico Canada Agreement. Trump sees the updates to the North American Free Trade Agreement as a top political and economic priority ahead of his 2020 reelection bid. 

The duties could damage key U.S. industries such as auto manufacturing, and key 2020 electoral states such as Arizona, Michigan and Texas could feel particularly sharp pain from the tariffs. 

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