President Trump backed away from his plan to slap a 5 percent tariff on Mexican goods late Friday night after the nation agreed to enforce a tougher stance on immigration and purchase more agricultural goods from the U.S.
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“MEXICO HAS AGREED TO IMMEDIATELY BEGIN BUYING LARGE QUANTITIES OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCT FROM OUR GREAT PATRIOT FARMERS,” Trump wrote in a tweet Saturday morning.
Trump’s announcement last week that he would impose a sliding scale of tariffs -- starting at 5 percent, with the potential to go up to 25 percent -- on Mexico unless they did more to curtail migration at the southern border was met with fierce criticism and pushback from lawmakers, including Republican senators who have said they’re almost uniformly opposed to the plan.
But on Friday, the president said the U.S. and Mexico reached an agreement to indefinitely suspend the tariffs after Mexico said it would “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 wrote.
According to a memo released by the State Department, Mexico agreed to deploy its national guard throughout the country, giving priority to its southern border with Guatemala, as well as taking “decisive action” to stop human smuggling and trafficking organizations. The two countries also said they would strengthen bilateral cooperation by sharing and coordination actions to “better protect and secure our common border.”
Mexico and the U.S. will continue discussion for other possible steps in 90 days if needed.
“Both parties also agree that, in the event the measures adopted do not have the expected results, they will take further actions,” the State Department said.
Trump has been pushing for Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to crackdown on immigration since his election last July. Lopez Obrador, a leftist, had expressed confidence earlier this week that Trump would reverse course with his tariff decision.
“I would like to thank the President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, and his foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, together with all of the many representatives of both the United States and Mexico, for working so long and hard to get our agreement on immigration completed!” Trump said in a tweet.