DONALD Trump has called off plans to impose tariffs on Mexico after the country agreed to take strong measures to “stem the flow” of migrants.
Mexico has agreed to take more migrants seeking asylum in the US while they wait for the cases to be processed.
1 Trump has called off plans to impose tariffs on MexicoCredit: AFP or licensors
….stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border. This is being done to greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States. Details of the agreement will be released shortly by the State Department. Thank you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 8, 2019
As part of a new ‘US-Mexico Joint Declaration’, Mexico said it will send 6,000 members of its national guard to secure its southern border.
Trump had threatened to impose 5% import tariffs on all Mexican goods starting on Monday if Mexico did not commit to do more to tighten its borders.
But on Friday, the two countries struck a deal to avert a tariff war after Mexico agreed to take “unprecedented steps to increase enforcement to curb irregular migration”.
The US President tweeted: “I am pleased to inform you that The United States of America has reached a signed agreement with Mexico.
“The Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended.
“Mexico, in turn, has agreed to take strong measures to stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border.
‘ELIMINATE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION’
“This is being done to greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States.”
Frustrated by a recent surge of migrants that has overwhelmed US resources on its southern border, Trump had used the threat of tariffs to pressure Mexico into making concessions.
He has made hard line efforts to reduce illegal immigration a cornerstone of his presidency and it is certain to be a key issue in his re-election bid next year.
But business groups and even some close Republican allies were unhappy with the prospect of tariffs on the top US trade partner, saying they would damage the economy.
TARIFF WAR AVERTED
Duties on Mexico would also have left the US fighting trade wars with two of its three largest trading partners, and would further unnerve financial markets already on edge about a global economic slowdown.
The deal fell short of a key US demand that Mexico accept a “safe third country” designation that would have forced it to permanently take in most Central American asylum seekers.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said his team had resisted US requests to send deported Guatemalans to Mexico.
He said he was satisfied with the final deal.
“I think it’s a fair balance because they had more drastic measures and proposals at the start and we reached some middle point,” he said.
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He also highlighted US support in the agreement for a Mexican proposal to jointly address underlying causes of migration from Central America.
The asylum program to be expanded is commonly known as Remain in Mexico, and currently operates in the border cities of Tijuana, Mexicali and Ciudad Juarez.
Under the new deal, returned asylum seekers will spend long periods in Mexican cities such as Reynosa on the Texas border, where drug cartels frequently kidnap migrants.
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