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US, Mexico sign agreement to slow immigration, avoid tariffs

US, Mexico sign agreement to slow immigration, avoid tariffs

"Thanks to the support of all Mexicans, we were able to avoid tariffs on Mexican products exported to the USA", tweeted Lopez Obrador, who since his election past year has tried studiously not to antagonise Trump.

His announcement of a deal came after three days of Mexico-U.S. negotiations in Washington.

Mexico's National Guard will begin deploying on Mexico's southern border with Guatemala from Monday to contain the flow of migrants headed to the United States, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard.

"The United States looks forward to working alongside Mexico to fulfill these commitments so that we can stem the tide of illegal migration across our southern border and to make our border strong and secure", Pompeo said.

Under the new deal, returned asylum seekers will spend long periods in Mexican cities such as Reynosa on the Texas border, where drug cartels frequently kidnap migrants.

Trump wrote that the proposed tariffs "are indefinitely suspended" due to a plan by Mexico to "reduce or eliminate" illegal immigration from both its northern and souther borders, into the United States. The country also promises to take steps to "dismantle human smuggling and trafficking organizations as well as their illicit financial and transportation networks".

The president had planned to impose a 5 percent tariff on goods imported from Mexico beginning June 10 if Mexico did not take sufficient steps to reduce the number of migrants attempting to illegally enter the United States, many of whom travel from Central American countries through Mexico.

According to a "US-Mexico Joint Declaration" released by the State Department late Friday, the US said it will work to greatly expand a program that returns asylum-seekers who cross the southern border to Mexico while their claims are adjudicated. The denial was even reportedly made to Richard Grenell, America's ambassador to Germany, who is the most senior openly gay person in Trump's administration and who is leading a worldwide push to decriminalize homosexuality.




Leaving the State Department Friday night, Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said he thought the deal struck "a fair balance" because the U.S. "had more drastic proposals and measures at the start".

The tweet marked a change in tone from earlier Friday, when his spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters in Ireland before Trump took off: "Our position has not changed".

Mr Trump said on Thursday he would decide later this month whether to hit Beijing with tariffs on an additional list of US$300 billion in Chinese goods.

USA authorities have said more than 100,000 undocumented migrants, mostly from the three Central American countries, have crossed into the United States in recent months.

US border officers apprehended more than 132,000 people crossing from Mexico in May, the highest monthly level since 2006. Vice President Mike Pence also spent that day stumping for the deal's passage in Canada.

This would not be the first time prominent Democrats have downplayed one of the Trump administration's significant political victories.

Initially, Mexican officials blasted Trump's move and promised to retaliate, but now President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says that his cabinet will "celebrate" the agreement reached with Washington.

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