Vicente Fox says U.S. President Donald Trump is blackmailing Mexico with his threat to impose tariffs on all incoming goods beginning next week.

“He’s blackmailing Mexico because he claims we have not done our job on the migration issue,” Fox, who served as the president of Mexico from 2000 to 2006, told BNN Bloomberg’s Jon Erlichman in an interview Thursday. “It’s incredible that you’d mix both issues that have nothing to do with each other.”

Trump last month threatened to impose five-per-cent levies on all imports from Mexico beginning June 10, with the possibility of the U.S. increasing the tariffs to 25 per cent by October if its southern neighbour doesn’t take “decisive measures” to stem the flow of migrants entering the country.  

Representatives from both countries were set to resume discussions on the issue in Washington, D.C. Thursday after Trump said “not nearly enough” progress was made the previous day.

“The problem is the guy is so problematic. He makes decisions out of his gut instead of his mind,” Fox said, adding that Trump will likely back down on the tariffs because “everyone is against it.”

In a tweet Wednesday, Trump said if an agreement isn’t reached between the two sides, the tariffs will resume as scheduled, adding that “the higher the tariffs go, the higher the number of companies that will move back to the USA!”  

Fox called on the corporate leaders across borders to band together as worries swell over whether a new free trade agreement will be rarified in the event the tariffs on Mexico take effect.

“Stand up. Tell Trump that he is wrong,” Fox said. “He is absolutely wrong this time. I invite Canada to unite with Mexico to defend our interests.”

“It’s just useless for him to keep on so stubbornly hitting [his] neighbour.”