Mexico scrambles to slow migrants as Trump tariffs loom

Earlier this month, Trump threatened imposing a 5 per cent tariff on Mexican imports if the country did not agree to help stop the inflow of Central American migrants headed to the USA southern border.

The Mexican side, for its part, agreed to bolster security on its southern border and expand its policy of taking back Central American migrants as the U.S. processes their asylum claims. "Mexico was not being co-operative on the Border in things we had, or didn't have, and now I have full confidence, especially after speaking to their President yesterday, that they will be very co-operative and want to get the job properly done".

Duties on Mexico would have left the United States fighting trade wars with two of its three largest trading partners, and would further unnerve financial markets already on edge about tariffs and a global economic slowdown.

Mnuchin, who said he participated in a call with Trump just before the deal was announced, said the president would retain the right to impose tariffs if Mexico did not keep its commitments.

López Obrador explained that the new created Mexican National Guard will support migratory functions, but will not stop the flow of migrants from Central America on the country's southern border. "That will be announced at the appropriate time", he said.

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The president went on to argue that Mexico had not historically been cooperative, but he believed a turning point had been reached. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, chastised Trump for using tariffs as a threat and operating a "trade policy based on tweets". The peso, which had been pummeled in recent months on fears over a trade war, on Friday strengthened 0.5% after Trump tweeted that there was a "good chance" a deal would be reached with Mexico. This after Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard reported that he proposed to the US government to send 6,000 elements of the National Guard to the border with Guatemala, in the midst of negotiations for tariffs. He said Trump had complaints worth heeding, noting that some WTO rules made it hard to constrain Chinese trade practices that have caused frictions.

"There is now going to be great cooperation between Mexico & the US, something that didn't exist for decades", he said.

The talks had been focused, in part, on attempting to reach a compromise on changes that would make it harder for migrants who pass through Mexico from other countries to claim asylum in the United States, those monitoring the situation said.

"I think the president has completely overblown what he purports to have achieved". The Mexican foreign ministry's press office declined to comment.

Earlier, President Trump announced that the promised 5 percent duties on Mexican imports were about to be suspended after the country's new administration had vowed to take decisive action on the border control.

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