Trump’s Planned Tariffs on Mexico Suspended After Deal Reached

President Donald Trump holds hands with first lady Melania Trump as they return to the White House, Friday June 7, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(CN) – President Donald Trump backed down from his threat to impose tariffs on Mexico Friday night, as he announced on Twitter that the U.S. had made a deal with its southern neighbor to reduce the flow of immigrants into the southern border.

“I am pleased to inform you that The United States of America has reached a signed agreement with Mexico,” Trump tweeted. “The tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended.”

The announcement was made after President Trump returned from his trip to Europe. The agreement was reached after three days of negotiations between officials of the two countries, according to media reports.

The president threatened last week to impose a 5% tax on all Mexican goods, which would increase by 5% every month up to 25% if the Mexican government did not crack down on Central American immigrants reaching the southern U.S. border. The U.S. buys a significant amount of Mexican imported goods, $346 billion just last year.

In a joint statement released by the State Department, Mexico said it agreed to “unprecedented steps to increase enforcement to curb irregular migration.” This includes deploying the Mexican National Guard to Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala. More than 100,000 immigrants cross the U.S. southern border each month.

In the same statement, the U.S. said it will expand a program that will return asylum seekers to Mexico while their claims are reviewed. The Mexican government, according to the agreement, will “offer jobs, healthcare and education” to those immigrants.

According to the U.S.-Mexico Joint Declaration, the U.S. said Mexico also agreed to take “decisive action to dismantle human smuggling and trafficking organizations as well as their illicit financial and transportation networks.”

Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador called for a celebration of the deal in Tijuana on Twitter.

“Thanks to the support of all Mexicans, the imposition of tariffs on Mexican products exported to the USA has been avoided,” he said.

Mexico is the United States’ largest trading partner. A potential increase in tariffs on Mexican products would increase consumer prices, businesses warned. Trump faced dissention from within his own party over the tariff threat. Senate Republicans told the White House Tuesday they would block the potential tariffs President Trump proposed.

“I will yield to nobody in passion and seriousness and commitment for securing the border,” Mr. Cruz told reporters on Tuesday. “But there’s no reason for Texas farmers and ranchers and manufacturers and small businesses to pay the price of massive new taxes.”

Texas imports $26.7 billion of Mexican goods, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Despite pushback from businesses and fellow Republicans, Trump maintained his stance early Friday before the deal was announced.

“Our position has not changed,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told a pool of reporters Friday. “The tariffs are going forward as of Monday.”

The Trump administration has long wanted Mexico to change asylum rules and allow the U.S. to reject greater numbers of Central American asylum seekers, mainly from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Mexico declined to do so in Friday’s agreement.

This is not the first time the president has backed away from his threats. Trump threatened in March to completely shut down the U.S.-Mexico border if the Mexican government didn’t put an immediate stop to illegal immigration. He backed down from the threat a few days later, citing unknown action taken by Mexico to curb immigrants from reaching the U.S. border.

The declaration also includes a warning that the U.S. could take additional steps if Mexico’s actions “do not have the expected result.”

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