USA reaches signed agreement with Mexico, tariff plan suspended

A lorry crosses the border between Mexico and the United States in Nuevo Laredo Mexico

President Trump has withdrawn his threat of a trade war with Mexico after it agreed "strong measures" to stem the number of migrants entering the USA, and take more of those who had already crossed.

The deal announced on Friday did not include a US demand that Mexico accept a "safe third country" designation that would have forced it to permanently take in most Central American asylum seekers.

Trump said Friday night that the tariffs have been "indefinitely suspended".

Mexico also agreed to take stronger measures to curb the flow of migrants, including deploying militarized National Guard forces on its southern border beginning on Monday.

"Additionally, the United States and Mexico commit to strengthen bilateral cooperation, including information sharing and coordinated actions to better protect and secure our common border", the State Department said in a joint declaration.

The deal, announced on Friday after three days of negotiations in Washington, averted Trump's threatened imposition of 5% import tariffs on all Mexican goods starting on Monday.

Schumer (D-NY) predicted that Trump would cave and find a reason to revoke his tariff threat towards Mexico.

"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.

2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke, meanwhile, said that "the damage of Trump's reckless trade policies and tariffs has already been done".

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A tax on all Mexican goods, increasing every month up to 25% under Mr Trump's plan, would have had enormous economic implications for both countries.

The president's threat that he would levy the potentially crippling tariffs on Mexico grew out of his deepening frustration with the surge of migrants that have been arriving at the border, many of them families with children from Central America who are fleeing violence and economic distress in their home countries. "And on the other hand, we accepted to have a more extended version of (migrants remaining in Mexico during asylum claim processing) and to accelerate the deployment of the national guard", Ebrard said, calling the deal "a fair play".

The deal was also confirmed in a tweet by Mexico's Foreign Secratary Marcelo Ebrard. More than 100,000 migrants are now crossing the USA border each month, but not everyone claims asylum and migrants can wait an entire year before making a claim.

In this Friday, November 16, 2018, file photo, members of the US military install multiple tiers of concertina wire along the banks of the Rio Grande near the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge at the US-Mexico border, in Laredo, Texas.

"It is likely to have only a small impact on solving the root causes of Central American migration because numerous components are things Mexico is already doing", he continued.

This past week, Mexican authorities broke up the caravan after it crossed the Guatemalan border and traveled through Chiapas state.

But Leticia Calderón Cheluis, a migration expert at the Mora Institute in Mexico City, said the agreement is essentially a series of compromises exclusively by Mexico, which she said committed to "a double clamp at both borders".

"Mexico came through", said Senator Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican opposed to the tariffs, in a tweet soon after Mr Trump's announcement.

The decision - announced by tweet late Friday - ended a showdown that business leaders warned would have disastrous economic consequences for both the US and one of its largest trading partners, driving up consumer prices and driving a wedge between the two allies.

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