U.S. reaches signed agreement with Mexico, tariff plan suspended

U.S. reaches signed agreement with Mexico, tariff plan suspended

The United States and Mexico reached a "signed agreement" Friday evening ending days of tough talks and forging a new deal that will suspend the White House's 5% tariff on Mexican goods and crackdown on illegal immigration at the Southern Border.

Trump hailed the agreement, saying Mexico "will try very hard, and if they do that, this will be a very successful agreement for both the United States and Mexico!"

Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard shared details of the deal Friday.

The decision not to put tariffs on Mexican imports opens the door to the possible ratification by lawmaker in the US, Mexico and Canada of the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement.

Mexico's president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, said on Twitter that "Thanks to the support of all Mexicans, the imposition of tariffs on Mexican products exported to the U.S. has been avoided". There was no mention of expanded Mexican purchases of USA agricultural products in the joint U.S.

Still, the deal was hailed by many in Mexican industry and politics.

Some such as ex-President Felipe Calderon of the conservative opposition National Action Party questioned whether Mexico was truly master of its own migratory policy.

Trump, a Republican, has made stemming illegal immigration a signature issue of his presidency, vowing to build a wall on the border, although Congress has refused to fund that measure.

"Mexico wants to really share the enforcement burden with the United States", said Christopher Wilson of the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center think tank.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer reacted with sarcasm about the agreement late on Friday.

This is an historic night!

"From our perspective of where we are now, it is a result of them backtracking on significant commitments", Mnuchin said. Mexico, in turn, has agreed to take strong measures to. But the remain-in-Mexico program was implemented earlier this year and, from the start, USA officials have vowed to rapidly expand it, even without Mexico's public support.

Meanwhile, a rally later Saturday in Tijuana that Lopez Obrador called to defend Mexican pride and dignity was expected to take on more of a festive atmosphere.

The President said on Twitter there was "a good chance" that a deal would be made over the weekend, but that he would move forward with tariffs if not.

On June 6, Mexico offered to send up to 6,000 members of its national guard to secure its southern border with Guatemala, in a bid to curb the rising influx of illegal immigrants.

It also comes amid an escalating border crisis, with U.S. Customs and Border Protection reporting this week that it apprehended or encountered more than 144,000 migrants at the border in May - levels not seen in over a decade. Those people had anxious about the negative economic consequences for Americans and argued that tariffs, which probably would have drawn retaliatory taxes on US exports, would also hurt the administration politically.

But the threat appears to have worked both to bring Mexico to the negotiating table and to win concessions that the Mexican government had been reluctant to agree to, including cooperating with the U.S.to hold Central American asylum-seekers while they are awaiting their cases in the U.S.

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