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The Latest: Chipotle says tariffs could increase costs $15M

June 3, 2019
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Mexican Ambassador Martha Barcena Coqui, left, and Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard speak during a news conference at the Mexican Embassy in Washington, Monday, June 3, 2019, as part of a Mexican delegation in Washington for talks following trade tariff threats from the Trump Administration. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on scheduled talks between the U.S. and Mexico (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

Restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill says the Trump administration’s threatened tariffs on Mexican products could add $15 million to its costs in 2019.

Chipotle Chief Financial Officer Jack Hartung said Monday the tariffs would reduce profit margins for the fast food company, which sells burritos and tacos and claims to use 450,000 avocados per day.

Under the Trump administration’s plan, tariffs would start at 5% on June 10 and rise to 25% in October. President Donald Trump says he will impose the tariffs as a way to force the Mexican government to block mostly Central American migrants from crossing into the U.S.

Hartung says if the tariffs become permanent Chipotle would offset them through cost-cutting efforts or modest price increases, such as a nickel per burrito.

Chipotle uses avocados and other produce grown in Mexico. The chain operates 2,500 restaurants in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

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9:15 a.m.

Mexico has launched a counter-offensive against the threat of U.S. tariffs, saying the steps it has taken on immigration have kept hundreds of thousands of migrants from reaching the United States.

Mexico said Monday it will go only so far to avert the duties and absolutely ruled out a “third safe country” agreement that would require asylum seekers to apply for refuge in Mexico first.

Mexico’s ambassador to the United States, Martha Barcena, says, “There is a clear limit to what we can negotiate, and the limit is Mexican dignity.”

Mexican officials have traveled to meet their U.S. counterparts in Washington. In a news conference, Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said that any third-country agreement would be unacceptable for Mexico.

President Donald Trump says he will impose a 5% tariff on Mexican goods beginning June 10.

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8:50 a.m.

Mexico says that imposing a 5% tariff on its goods would be very costly for the economies of both Mexico and the United States and warns that it could cause an additional quarter-million Central American nationals to migrate north this year.

A high-level delegation of officials held a press conference to portray the position Mexico will share with U.S. counterparts during meetings they will have in Washington during the week.

Foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard says his team will be delivering to U.S. officials on Monday a document detailing the impact of tariffs for both countries.

President Donald Trump says he will impose a 5% tariff on Mexican goods beginning June 10 as a way to force the Mexican government to keep mostly Central American migrants from crossing into the U.S.

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12:05 a.m.

Top officials from the U.S. and Mexico will begin talks in a scramble to fend off President Donald Trump’s threat of devastating tariffs on the southern ally and meet his demand for fewer migrants at the border.

Trump is in London for a long-planned overseas trip, leaving others to stem a potential trade crisis. It’s unclear what more Mexico can do to satisfy the Republican president. Trump’s Republican allies warn the tariffs on Mexican imports will hit U.S. consumers and harm the economy.

On Monday, Mexican Economy Minister Graciela Marquez plans talks with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Two days later, delegations led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (pahm-PAY’-oh) and Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard will also meet in Washington.

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This story has been corrected to fix the typo in the lede to Chipotle.

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