Trump halts trade war threats as Mexico agrees 'strong measures' on migrants

Sunday, 09 Jun, 2019

Mexico will "offer jobs, healthcare and education" to those people, "according to its principles", the agreement stated.

"Our expectation is that Mexico will do what they've committed to do and our expectation is that we won't need to put tariffs in place, but obviously if that's not the case, the president retains that authority", Mnuchin told Reuters on the sidelines of a G20 finance meeting in Fukuoka, Japan.

Yet House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Trump's "threats and temper tantrums are no way to negotiate foreign policy", especially with "our close friend".

Per CBS News, Mexico agreed to up the national guard presence along the Guatemalan border and crack down on human trafficking. But he said Trump would have leeway over the weekend to delay the tariffs, if he chooses.

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imports beginning on Monday, but stressed that negotiations and deliberations will continue and the paperwork could be withdrawn or shelved.

With just days to go until the Trump administration is set to impose punishing tariffs on Mexico unless the country halts the unprecedented flow of illegal immigrants across the southern border, numerous signs that Mexico would capitulate emerged Thursday - but it remained unclear Friday morning whether their efforts would satisfy the White House.

Trump's decision marked a change in tone from earlier Friday, when his spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters in Ireland before Trump took off: "Our position has not changed. The tariffs are going forward as of Monday".

"This means that those crossing the U.S. Southern Border to seek asylum will be rapidly returned to Mexico where they may await the adjudication of their asylum claims", it said. But this move has been plagued with glitches, including incorrect court dates, travel problems and issues with lawyers reaching their clients.

Of those, almost 133,000 crossed the US-Mexico border illegally, including more than 11,000 unaccompanied children.

US Homeland Security officials have been ramping up slowly, and were already working to spread the program along the border before the latest blowup.

Lopez Obrador, a leftist populist who took office in December, said he would lead a rally Saturday in the northern Mexican city of Tijuana to "defend Mexico's destiny" and to announce what he suggested were new ideas on immigration.

Any sizable increase may be hard to achieve.

More than 144,000 migrants were encountered or arrested at the US-Mexico border in May, US Customs and Border Protection said this week, a roughly 32% increase from the previous month and the highest monthly total in more than a decade.

Imposing tariffs on Mexico would have left the USA 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.

"I am pleased to inform you that the USA has reached a signed agreement with Mexico".

The 5 per cent tax on all Mexican goods, which would increase every month up to 25per cent under Trump's plan, would have had enormous economic implications for both countries.

The United States imports about $350 billion each year in goods from Mexico including $128 billion in automobiles, auto parts and engines, and $26 billion in agricultural products and processed foods.

Numerous Republican Party members opposed the tariff and urged Trump to either consider them further or postpone them.

Donald Trump made the announcement only hours after returning from Europe.