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US, Mexico have a deal, Donald Trump suspends tariff hike

Trump had threatened to impose 5% tariff on all imports from Mexico, which is America’s largest trading partner, starting Monday to force Mexico to stop Central Americans headed for the US.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2019 23:59 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
US,Mexico,Donald Trump
The threat panicked Mexicans and Americans alike, and many Republican lawmakers came out in open opposition to the president and said they will not hesitate to pass legislation blocking the move.(HT Photo)

President Donald Trump announced Friday he had “indefinitely suspended” the move to impose escalating tariffs on imports from Mexico after the latter agreed to take “strong measures” to prevent migrants from traveling through its area towards the border with the United States.

In a joint declaration issued by the two countries, Mexico has offered to take “unprecedented steps to increase enforcement to curb irregular migration … giving priority to its southern” and it will also take “decisive action to dismantle human smuggling and trafficking organizations as well as their illicit financial and transportation networks”.

And President Trump wrote in his tweet announcing the deal, “The Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the US. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended.”

Trump had threatened to impose 5% tariff on all imports from Mexico, which is America’s largest trading partner, starting Monday to force Mexico to stop Central Americans headed for the US. The tariff was supposed to increase by 5% every month subsequently if Mexico did not comply till it hit the 25% mark in October, where it would have stayed.

The threat panicked Mexicans and Americans alike, and many Republican lawmakers came out in open opposition to the president and said they will not hesitate to pass legislation blocking the move.

Mexican officials reached Washington earlier this week for talks that were led by Vice-President Mike Pence on the American side. Trump, who was away in the United Kingdom and then Ireland and France, monitored the talks closely as he refused to back down on his threats, insisting he meant them.

Trump personally announced the deal in a late Friday night tweet. And thanked Mexican leaders, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, and American negotiators for “for working so long and hard” in a follow-up tweet Saturday.

A relieved President Obrador wrote in a tweet, “Thanks to the support of all Mexicans, the imposition of tariffs on Mexican products exported to the United States was avoided.”

First Published: Jun 08, 2019 23:59 IST