Trump suspends tariffs on Mexico after deal on immigration reached

08 Juin, 2019, 15:40 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Facing five percent tariffs Cargo truck drivers line up to cross to the United States at Otay commercial crossing in Tijuana Mexico

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday Mexico's government had reached a deal with the United States to avert a tariff war by pledging to take "strong measures" to contain the migration of mostly Central Americans crossing the southern U.S. border.

The Trump administration has demanded Mexico take tough action to halt the flow of hundreds of thousands of Central American migrants towards the United States, insisting it lock down its border with Guatemala to the south and agree to let asylum seekers register their claims inside Mexico.

President Donald Trump said Friday he is suspending plans to impose tariffs on imports from Mexico. This is being done to greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said in Washington his team had also resisted USA requests to send deported Guatemalans to Mexico.

Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Pence, said a "legal notification" will be posted on Friday that Trump will slap a 5 percent tariff on Mexican imports beginning on Monday, but stressed that negotiations and deliberations will continue and the paperwork could be withdrawn or shelved.

The President announced his decision in two tweets made on his verified Twitter account.

The deal, also confirmed in a tweet by Mexico's Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard, comes at the end of three days of negotiations, which saw Washington demand a crackdown on Central American migrants. Many members of Trump's Republican Party and business allies had urged him to reconsider - or at least postpone actually implementing the tariffs as talks continue - citing the potential harm to American consumers and manufacturers.

The Labor Department reported earlier Friday that job growth slowed sharply in May and wages rose less than expected, raising fears that a loss of momentum in economic activity could be spreading to the labor market.

Although the jobless rate held steady at a 50-year low of 3.6%, Friday's figures were the latest signal that the US economy, while healthy, is weakening.

A migration official checks passengers on a bus, at a checkpoint on the highway in Tapachula, Chiapas state, Mexico, June 7, 2019.

Mexico has resisted that demand, which would make it hard for those who enter Mexico from other countries to claim asylum in the U.S.

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And last week Trump announced taxes on all goods coming from Mexico , which would increase every month up to 25 percent unless that government helps crack down on the flow of migrants.

On Thursday, the Mexican official said, the Mexican government indicated it is willing to make asylum changes for the sake of a coordinated regional approach to stem the flow of Central American migrants now flooding into the United States.

With such a plan in place, the United States could send Guatemala asylum seekers to Mexico, and those from Honduras and El Salvador to Guatemala. Trump tweeted earlier Friday.

Last week, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador agreed to increase border security on his country's northern border.

The department said that in response, Mexico would allow individuals to enter for "humanitarian reasons" as "they await the adjudication of their asylum claims". "I'm optimistic we can achieve that".

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin hailed the deal between the USA and Mexico as "very, very significant".

"The causes of the migratory chaos aren't being analyzed, only the effects", he said.

Customs and Border Protection recently released the number of migrants illegally crossing the border in May, showing a 13-year high of 144,278.

The arrests were the highest monthly total since Mr Trump took office.

The asylum program to be expanded is commonly known as Remain in Mexico, and now operates in the border cities of Tijuana, Mexicali and Ciudad Juarez.

Republicans in Congress had also warned the White House that they were ready to stand up to the president to try to block his tariffs, which they anxious would spike costs to US consumers, harm the economy and imperil a major pending US-Mexico-Canada trade deal.

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