Donald Trump says tariffs on Mexico suspended after agreement reached on migration

Erika Holt
June 10, 2019

President Trump on Saturday defended his agreement with Mexico that sees the country take tougher measures on illegal immigration in exchange for the us dropping plans to impose tariffs on imports - promising that Mexico "will try very hard" and place as many as 6,000 troops at their southern border.

"The President's threat to impose tariffs on Mexico is a unsafe mistake that will have significant consequences to our economy and negotiations with the United States-Canada-Mexico Agreement", said U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo).

U.S. President Donald Trump is prepared to impose tariffs on all goods imported from Mexico starting Monday, a potentially illegal move that would rattle continental trade and catch Canadian companies in the crossfire.

Mexico has agreed to deploy its National Guard to curb migration at its southern border, the State Department said in a statement detailing the pact. The top USA diplomat says, "The United States looks forward to working alongside Mexico to fulfill these commitments so that we can stem the tide of illegal migration across our southern border and to make our border strong and secure".

According to the agreement, Mexico will deploy its National Guard throughout the country to apprehend migrants, "giving priority to its southern border" with Guatemala a statement from the U.S. State Department said.

Trump faced a Friday deadline to sign an executive order to ensure the tariffs go into effect by Monday, his deadline for Mexico to meet his immigration demands or face a 5% tariff on all exports to the US.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said in Washington that his team had also resisted United States requests to send deported Guatemalans to Mexico. Border agents detained or turned back more than 144,000 migrants at the southwest border in May, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported Wednesday.

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He was in "absolutely no doubt" that the WTO would have found in favour of Mexico if Mr Lopez Obrador had asked the trade body to arbitrate the dispute with Mr Trump, a process he said would have taken around two years for a definitive ruling.

If Mexico does more as promised, it's likely to be seen in intensification of those same efforts, experts said - raids on hotels where migrants stay or on bus companies transporting them north to the USA border.

Trump said Mexico wasn't doing enough to stop the migration of Central Americans to the southern U.S border. Those people had anxious about the negative economic consequences for Americans and argued that tariffs - which would likely spark retaliatory taxes on USA exports - would also hurt the administration politically.

The US' southern neighbor has "agreed to immediately begin buying large quantities of agricultural products from our great patriot farmers", Trump wrote on Twitter on Saturday, styled all in caps. Americans imported $346 billion worth of goods from Mexico past year, $14.5 billion of which crossed through the Nogales commercial port alone. But Mexico has already so expanded its deportations of asylum seekers, it is unclear whether it has the resources to do much more. His own party offered a major roadblock.

Democrats remained skeptical after the agreement was announced, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., tweeting (apparently sarcastically) that "n$3 ow that that problem is solved, I'm sure we won't be hearing any more about it in the future".

The US-Mexico deal comes amid a surge in migrants crossing into the US, straining the resources of federal immigration and border authorities.

But for at least one cowboy and one Indian, Trump is the best hope for getting done what Americans want to get done, including securing the border so that drugs and human trafficking will no longer pose the grave threat they do in border states like Griffin's New Mexico.

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