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LIVE UPDATES: Vice President Pence visits York County amid tariff tension

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch

Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to tour a Springettsbury Township packaging company today amid growing tensions between President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans over the administration’s planned tariffs on Mexico.

Trump intends to place a 5% tariff on all imports from Mexico beginning Monday to compel that government to do more about Central American immigration at the southern border. Unless Mexico acts to his satisfaction, the tariffs will gradually increase to 25%, the president said.

The move pits the president against GOP senators, some of whom have asserted the tariffs could scuttle congressional approval of a trade deal planned to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. Mexico also has proposed levying its own tariffs on the U.S. in response.

Pence and other U.S. officials met Wednesday afternoon with Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard at the White House in an effort to defuse tensions, the Associated Press reported.

Vice President Mike Pence waves to supporters after landing during a stop at Lancaster Airport in Lititz Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. Pence was joined by Republican incumbent candidates Scott Perry and Lloyd Smucker during the event. Bill Kalina photo

More:Pence visit to close I-83 ramps in northern York County

More:Pence to visit Springettsbury business, pitch trade deal

York Dispatch reporter Logan Hullinger will be covering the vice president's visit. Follow his live updates on Twitter.

The vice president will speak at 3:40 p.m. to workers at JLS Automation in Springettsbury Township. Afterward, he will head to a state GOP fundraiser in Camp Hill.

A Pence spokeswoman said he will touch on the trade pact and other matters, but she declined to provide more detail. The visit comes just a day after Canadian Consul Phyllis Yaffe visited Johnson Controls in New Freedom to advocate for the deal.

President Trump, along with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and then-Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, signed the new trade deal last year. However, no legislature has adopted the agreement.

Concerns over new tariffs have led to GOP talks of legislation to block the president and, unlike with the reallocation of border wall funding, the higher chamber could have a veto-proof majority this time around.

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., last week joined the opposition by calling the tariffs harmful to U.S. consumers.

“The president’s use of tax hikes on Americans as a tool to affect change in Mexican policy is misguided," Toomey said in a news release. "It is past time for Congress to step up and reassert its constitutional responsibility on tariffs."

Local business leaders have also condemned the tariffs, emphasizing the impact on U.S. consumers and local industries like manufacturing and agriculture.

Unlike the visit to JLS Automation, the GOP dinner is open to the public. Tickets are available at https://secure.anedot.com/republican-party-of-pennsylvania/c701076c0b5bd1c5bd784