US President Donald Trump has announced the indefinite suspension of tariffs against Mexican imports after the two countries signed a deal to stem the flow of migrants from Central America.
The proposed tariffs, which had been due to be implemented on June 10, were lifted after the US and Mexico signed an agreement on Friday following days of negotiations in Washington, reports Efe news.
“The United States (…) has reached a signed agreement with Mexico,” Trump said in a tweet.
“The Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the US (…) against Mexico are hereby indefinitely suspended.”
In return, he said Mexico had agreed to take “strong measures to stem the tide of migration through Mexico, and to our southern border”, adding that this was “being done to greatly reduce, or eliminate, illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the US”.
On May 30, Trump had announced that tariffs of 5 per cent would be imposed on imports from Mexico, a duty that was due to increase gradually each month up to 25 per cent by October if Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was unable to slow the rate of migration at the border between the two neighbouring nations.
Trump did not provide any details of the deal signed on Friday, but said that the State Department would do so in due course.
The Mexican President thanked his fellow citizens for their support in avoiding the tariffs taking effect.
“Thanks to the support of all Mexicans, we were able to avoid the tariffs on Mexican goods being exported to the US,” he said on Twitter.
At an event in Los Cabos in Baja California on Friday, Lopez Obrador had rejected the “predominance of the strong” and had urged increased dialogue and communication to reach a consensus on the issue of migration.
Following Trump’s threat last week to impose the tariffs, Lopez Obrador sent a delegation to Washington led by Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard for talks with US representatives to negotiate the deal.
One of the concessions made by Mexico on Thursday was to send 6,000 National Guard troops to its southern border with Guatemala, a crossing point for thousands of Central American migrants heading for the US.
Trump has made immigration one of the cornerstones of his mandate; during his campaign, he had promised to build a wall on the border, and has sought increased federal funds to tackle what he has described as a crisis and “grave disaster” at the US-Mexico border that has seen the country be “invaded by hundreds of thousands people”.
In May, the US detained more than 132,000 migrants at its border, 30 percent more than the previous month and the highest figure since 2006.