(CNN) President Donald Trump overruled three of his top advisers in deciding to move ahead with his tariff threat against Mexico over immigration. And as he faced a stock market slide and opprobrium from key Republican senators on Friday, the President held firm, tweeting: "It's time!"
Trump's drasticTrump's sent shockwaves through Washington, sparking concerns inside the White House and on Capitol Hill that a new trade offensive would scuttle efforts to ratify a replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement -- and drag down the US economy, which relies heavily on Mexican-produced cars, machines and foodstuffs, just as the 2020 campaign is taking off.
But incensed by a spike in migrants crossing illegally into the US this week, the President ignored warnings from White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin with his decision to move ahead Thursday with a vow to impose import duties on all goods from Mexico until steps are taken to curb the flow of migrants.
An administration official familiar with the matter confirmed to CNN that Kushner called in from abroad to urge the President not to impose the tariffs. Kushner worked with Lighthizer to negotiate that deal and was awarded Mexico's Order of the Aztec, the country's highest honor for a foreigner, for his work. Kushner subsequently called Mexico's foreign minister to discuss the situation. The Washington Post first reported Kushner's opposition.