'Good chance' now for tariff deal with Mexico

Fredrick Soto
June 8, 2019

Officials from both countries said they did not know whether the terms would assuage Trump and alleviate the tariff threat; Trump plans to charge a 5% tariff on Mexican goods unless the country can show that it will take steps to reduce the flow of migrants streaming to the USA border.

US President Donald Trump said Friday that there is a "good chance" that a deal can be reached with Mexico on controlling migrants to avert the imposition of trade tariffs.

As Jesús Seade, Mexico's undersecretary for North America and a veteran trade negotiator, said: "How is it in the interests of the U.S.to have a weaker neighbor?"

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"They've made a lot of progress", she said. We'll see what happens, but something pretty dramatic could happen.

"Our position is still the same and we're moving forward with the tariffs".

"I'm optimistic that we can reach a deal", he said.

While the tariff threat is aimed at spurring action in Mexico, significant differences remain about how quickly and by how much Mexico can reduce unauthorized migration through tougher enforcement measures, the USA official said.

A Mexican delegation led by Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard is in Washington seeking to broker a deal with the USA government, and high level meetings continued yesterday.

The officials are discussing a deal calling for Mexico to sharply increase patrols of its border with Guatemala to curb migration, The Washington Post reported, with the deployment of 6,000 National Guard troops.

Democrats as well as some key Republicans who had voiced their opposition to the tariffs said they might take legislative action in an attempt to stop them.

In a sign of a wider crackdown, the leftist administration of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said earlier that it blocked the bank accounts of 26 people for alleged links to human trafficking, while it detained on Wednesday at least 350 migrants crossing into Mexico and arrested two prominent migrant rights activists. Apprehensions at the U.S. -Mexico border hit a decade high in May.

Trump imposed the tariffs on Mexico in order to persuade it to do more to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the country through its borders.

White House officials appeared to deliver mixed messages as they awaited Trump's return to the White House.

Imposing tariffs on Mexico has not gone down well with part of Trump's Republican party and Congress believes Trump is overstepping his authority.

"If we are able to make the deal with Mexico, & there is a good chance that we will, they will begin purchasing Farm & Agricultural products at very high levels, starting immediately", Trump tweeted from aboard Air Force One as he flew home from Europe.

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a speech during the French-USA Commemoration marking the 75th anniversary of the Allied landings on D-Day at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, France June 6, 2019.

Data from the U.S. government this week showed apprehensions at the border in May were triple the level seen during that period previous year.

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