WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said Friday he will not put tariffs on Mexico after all, saying it has agreed to take new measures to stop the illegal flow of migrants into the United States.
“The Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended,” the president tweeted.
He added: “Mexico, in turn, has agreed to take strong measures to stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border.”
Mexico Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard in a tweet confirmed the agreement. In a separate tweet, he thanked all who supported Mexico through its negotiations with the United States.
Economists and lawmakers from both parties had criticized Trump’s tariff plan, saying it would hurt the economies of the United States and Mexico while doing little to reduce illegal immigration.
Trump had threatened, via a May 30 tweet, to slap 5% tariffs on all Mexican imports unless officials there figured out a way to crack down on the flow of Central American migrants coming across the U.S. southern border. The president also vowed to increase the tariffs by 5 percentage points per month until they reached 25%.
The threat unnerved investors and rankled lawmakers – including Republicans – who said it would depress trade between the U.S. and Mexico. They also noted that tariffs would make it harder for Congress to approve a proposed free trade agreement with Mexico and Canada.
Some members of Congress talked about passing legislation to block tariffs. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., meanwhile, asked Trump to meet with Republican lawmakers before imposing tariffs.
Republicans who had asked Trump not to hit Mexico with tariffs applauded the announcement.
“This is very good news for Texas,” said Matt Mackowiak, a Republican political consultant in that state. “Tariffs on Mexico would have needlessly harmed the Texas economy is incalculable ways. And if the Trump administration has secured meaningful action from Mexico that will reduce illegal immigration, then Trump will have pulled a rabbit out of his hat.”
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