President Trump has “indefinitely suspended” his threat to levy tariffs on goods from Mexico, after claiming a deal has been reached on immigration into the US.
Last month, the US President tweeted plans to introduce a 5% tariff on “all goods coming into our country from Mexico” on 10 June (today). The levies were set to rise throughout July and August if Mexico had not moved to “alleviate” what Trump called in a further statement “the illegal migration crisis”.
The warning surprised markets, coming seven months after the US, Canada and Mexico agreed on a new trade deal to replace the NAFTA agreement that had run since 1994.
However, on Friday evening US time, Trump tweeted a deal had been struck between Washington and Mexico City.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 8, 2019
According to data from the Office of the US Trade Representative, the value of US imports of goods from Mexico stood at US$346.5bn in 2018.
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US imports of agricultural products from Mexico totalled $26bn in 2018. The USTR says “leading categories” include: fresh vegetables (some $5.9bn were shipped from Mexico to the US last year, according to USTR data), other fresh fruit ($5.8bn), wine and beer ($3.6bn), snack foods ($2.2bn), and processed fruit and vegetables ($1.7bn).
On Saturday, citing unnamed officials from both countries, The New York Times reported the new deal with Mexico touted by Trump “largely” included actions Mexico City had in recent months already promised to take, such as using its national guard on the border with the US. Trump used Twitter to rebut the NYT story.
According to a report yesterday on the website of UK-based newspaper The Guardian, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the President of Mexico, told a rally in Tijuana his government was “celebrating yesterday’s important agreement because it was putting us in a very difficult situation with these tariffs because we would have had to impose the same measures on US products”.