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Proposed US tariffs on Mexico suspended indefinitely

Published:Saturday | June 8, 2019 | 10:19 AM
US President Donald Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — United States (US) President Donald Trump has announced that he had suspended plans to impose tariffs on Mexico after officials there “agreed to take strong measures” to stem the flow of Central American migrants into the US.

The announcement was made in a message Trump posted on Twitter.

But according to reports, the deal falls short of some of the dramatic overhauls that were being sought by the US.

A “US-Mexico Joint Declaration” released by the State Department says the US “will immediately expand the implementation” of a program that returns asylum-seekers who cross the southern border to Mexico while their claims are adjudicated.

Under the agreement, Mexico will “offer jobs, healthcare and education” to those individuals.

Mexico has also agreed to take “unprecedented steps to increase enforcement to curb irregular migration”, including the deployment of the Mexican National Guard throughout the country, especially on its southern border with Guatemala.

In addition, Mexican authorities will be taking “decisive action to dismantle human smuggling and trafficking organisations as well as their illicit financial and transportation networks, the State Department said.

The agreement puts to an end — for now — a threat that had sparked dire warnings from members of Trump’s own party, who signalled that the tariffs would damage the American economy, drive up prices for consumers and imperil an updated North American trade pact.

It also marks a sharp reversal from an announcement made earlier yesterday by White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.

“Our position has not changed. The tariffs are going forward as of Monday,” Sanders told reporters.

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