Trump suspends Mexico tariffs, says ags purchases will rise

10 Jun 2019 | Rei Geyssens

US President Trump said tariffs due to be implemented on Monday on its southern neighbour are “indefinitely suspended” as he is confident Mexico will implement a more stringent approach on border migration.

He said a pledge by Mexico to send 6,000 national guard troops to the border to prevent migrants from central America entering the US was enough to suspend the tariffs.

He added on Saturday that Mexico had agreed to “immediately begin buying large quantities of agricultural products” as part of the pact.

Yet that message was not echoed by the Mexican ambassador to the US, Martha Barcena Coqui, when asked Sunday on CBS news.

She said: “It is our understanding that without tariffs and with USMCA ratification, there will be an increased rate, both in agricultural products and manufacturing products,” but did not acknowledge any additional commitment in buying more goods.

“We are your most important market and you are our most important market. Are trade and agriculture products going to grow? Yes, it is going to grow, and it is going to grow without tariffs and with USMCA ratification,” Barcena Coqui said.

Mexico – the US’ second-largest agricultural buyer – sells fruits and vegetables to the US and buy grains and meats from its northern neighbour.

Despite the tariffs taken off the table, Trump tweeted Monday that they would be reinstated if the Mexican government will vote down the Immigration and Security deal both nations agreed to at the end of last week.

On Sunday, the New York Times wrote that the announced deal did not amount to new concessions made by Mexico to avoid tariffs.

The agreement on the national guard deployment was struck in March with the US Homeland security Agency with the asylum agreement reached in December, the newspaper reported.