Trump Announces US and Mexico Reach Deal on Migration, Calls Off Tariffs

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The migration deal imposed on Mexico this week by US President Donald Trump under the threat of punitive tariffs was a victory for "hostage-taking" over worldwide rules, a former head of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) says.

Trump tweeted Friday night that he would hold off on a 5% tariff on all Mexican imports set to take effect Monday.

Frustrated by a recent surge of migrants that has overwhelmed USA resources on its southern border, Trump had used the threat of tariffs to pressure Mexico into making concessions.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Saturday that the U.S. -Mexico immigration deal met President Donald Trump's objectives of fixing immigration problems on the southern U.S. border, but Trump will retain the authority to impose tariffs if Mexico fails to live up to it.

Still, one Republican who discussed the situation on condition of anonymity said the outreach from Capitol Hill appeared to play far less a role than the concessions made by the Mexicans - particularly the agreement to expand the remain-in-Mexico policy.

And Mexico is taking "decisive action to dismantle human smuggling and trafficking organizations as well as their illicit financial and transportation networks", the State Department said.

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Pence was among the administration officials involved in the talks while the president was in Europe.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, who quickly flew to Washington and had stayed ever since following Trump's tariff threat by Twitter on May 30, said he believed the two sides had found a compromise.

They would do all that can do to support the president and his reelection in 2020, Portugal said, so Trump can continue to "make America great again".

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.

Trump, who has declared a crisis at the border and earlier deployed troops, says that asylum seekers can too easily slip into the population while on USA soil.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol apprehended 144,278 people along the southern border in May, shattering April's intake of migrants with a 32 percent increase.

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The agreement appeared to fall short of a key USA demand that Mexico accept a "safe third country" designation that would have forced it to permanently take in most Central American asylum seekers.

U.S. President Donald Trump arrives following overseas travel at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 7, 2019.

USA officials pressed Mexico to change its asylum policy by entering into a "safe third country" agreement with the US.

But US officials demanded more. But Mexico has already so expanded its deportations of asylum seekers, it is unclear whether it has the resources to do much more.

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.

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