President Trump on Thursday walked back his previous threat to close the U.S.-Mexico border this week, telling reporters he is giving Mexico a "1-year warning" to stop illegal immigration and what he calls "massive" amounts of drugs entering the country through the southern border.

"If the drugs don't stop or largely stop, we're gonna put tariffs on Mexico and products, in particular cars. The whole ballgame is cars. If they don't do it, we're gonna tax the cars. And if that doesn't work, we're gonna close the borders."

The backdrop: As Axios' Jonathan Swan reported Thursday morning, Trump was hesitant to follow through on his border threat out of fear of doing anything to disrupt the markets. A source who has been talking to Trump about the border situation told Swan: "He’s very well aware that there’s a commercial trucking component that would be devastating on Mexico and would be hurtful to the United States."

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Updated 30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations.
  2. Health: Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19.
  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.
What Matters 2020

The missed opportunities for 2020 and beyond

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Jason Armond (Los Angeles Times), Noam Galai, Jabin Botsford (The Washington Post), Alex Wong/Getty Images

As the 2020 presidential campaign draws to a close, President Trump and Joe Biden have focused little on some of the most sweeping trends that will outlive the fights of the moment.

Why it matters: Both have engaged on some issues, like climate change and China, on their own terms, and Biden has addressed themes like economic inequality that work to his advantage. But others have gone largely unmentioned — a missed opportunity to address big shifts that are changing the country.

Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

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