In a series of tweets Friday, President Trump announced that the U.S. had signed an agreement with Mexico to avert the increasing tariffs he had threatened to unleash against the country starting on Monday. “I am pleased to inform you that The United States of America has reached a signed agreement with Mexico. The Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended,” Trump wrote.
“Mexico, in turn, has agreed to take strong measures to stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border. This is being done to greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States.”
Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard confirmed on Twitter that an agreement had been reached to avoid tariffs but gave no further details on the terms of the deal.
According to the U.S. State Department, Mexico has agreed to “take unprecedented steps to increase enforcement to curb irregular migration,” including by deploying its National Guard throughout the country and to its southern border.
Mexico will also crack down on human trafficking and smuggling organizations and accept all asylum seekers sent back over the southern border by U.S. immigration authorities as part of the so-called Remain in Mexico plan, the State Department said in a press release.
The announcement comes after days of negotiations between the two countries, as well as criticism of Trump’s plan among lawmakers. Even some Republicans feared the tariffs would harm U.S. businesses and refused to back the plan.
During a closed door lunch last week, Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) reportedly said the administration was “trying to use tariffs to solve every problem but HIV and climate change.” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-SD) told Politico the Senate GOP was getting “tariff weary” and could see broad opposition against the move.
The agreement appears to avoid any potential confrontations with lawmakers over the fallout of the tariffs—which were estimated to affect $350 billion worth of goods.
The White House unveiled the plan at the end of May, threatening to slap steadily increasing tariffs on imports from Mexico until the “illegal immigration problem” was “remedied.” White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said the tariffs would start at 5 percent and be raised to 10 percent on July 1, 15 percent on Aug. 1, 20 percent on Sept. 1, and 25 percent on Oct. 1.