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Friday
Jun072019

Trump: US-Mexico tariff deal reached aimed at stemming 'tide of migration'

Drew Angerer/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump on Friday tweeted that a "signed agreement" has been reached between U.S. and Mexico on tariffs – an accord aimed at stemming the "tide of migration."

"I am pleased to inform you that The United States of America has reached a signed agreement with Mexico," he tweeted. "The Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended. Mexico, in turn, has agreed to take strong measures to stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border. This is being done to greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States. Details of the agreement will be released shortly by the State Department. Thank you!"

Trump announced earlier this month that beginning on June 10, a 5% tariff would be imposed on all goods coming into the U.S. from Mexico "until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP."

However, as part of that deal, it appears the U.S. did not get Mexico to agree to a “safe third country” agreement where asylum seekers would be granted asylum in Mexico and unable to claim asylum in the US. Instead, the administration says it will expand its policy of deporting asylum seekers to Mexico to await adjudication of their cases. Mexico will accept those people and offer them services like health care and education.

That policy is currently being contested in federal court, although the Ninth Circuit ruled that the administration could implement as a final determination is reached.

In response, Mexico agrees to strengthen its border security — a nod to the 6,000 Border Guard officers that nation announced Thursday — and to take “decisive action to dismantle human smuggling and trafficking organizations as well as their illicit financial and transportation networks.”

While Trump has repeatedly threatened to cut off development funds for Central America and the State Department moved to implement a cut in March--but hasn’t fully followed through-- Friday's statement appeared to contradict that idea and noted the importance of those development dollars. While it doesn’t commit any new U.S. dollars to such efforts, it underscores that “both countries recognize the strong links between promoting development and economic growth in southern Mexico and the success of promoting prosperity, good governance and security in Central America.”

The agreement will be revisited within 90 days and the two sides will announce further action before then as they continue conversations.

The announcement of a deal between the two nations came as Trump faced difficulties in moving forward with tariffs against Mexico. His own party offered a major roadblock.

"There is not much support in my conference for tariffs, that's for sure," Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said at a press conference following a lunch on Tuesday, where White House officials tried to make their case for tariffs to skeptical Republicans.

McConnell would not say how far he was willing to go to block the president.

Top advisers, including Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin also pushed back on the president's proposal to impose a 5% tariff on goods from Mexico, multiple White House sources told ABC News.

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