President Trump agreed to indefinitely suspend threatened tariffs against Mexico after a deal aimed at stemming the flow of illegal migration to the United States was reached.
The U.S. and Mexico on Friday reached an agreement to indefinitely suspend tariffs threatened by President Donald Trump to pressure Mexico to stop the flow of illegal migration into the U.S., Trump tweeted Friday.
Among other things, the deal calls for Mexico to take “unprecedented” enforcement steps to curb “irregular migration,” including deployment of its National Guard throughout Mexico, prioritizing its southern border, and for Mexico to accept entrance of all individuals awaiting adjudication of asylum claims by the U.S., according to a joint statement of the U.S. and Mexican governments.
Trump tweeted on May 31 that he would impose tariffs on Mexico starting at 5% on June 10 and gradually increasing until Mexico stopped the flow of illegal migration into the U.S.
National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) President Amy Magnus said brokers were relieved that the two countries reached a deal for the U.S. to indefinitely suspend any tariffs on Mexico, adding that it would have been difficult for brokers and forwarders to respond to any tariffs within such a short time frame.
“In our industry, to be able to turn on a dime and suddenly start collecting 5% duty on goods that have been otherwise duty-free for over 20 years would’ve caused a real difficulty for the brokers and forwarders,” Magnus said. “We need time to prepare for changes like this.”
In a letter sent last week to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Magnus said the NCBFAA was “gravely concerned” over Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on Mexico.
“If allowed to occur, the impact will be swift and severe,” she wrote.
In addition to the NCBFAA, the Pacific Coast Council of Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Associations (PCC) expressed relief at the news that threatened tariffs are being suspended.
“The PCC customs brokers who are on the front lines of the US-Mexico trade relationship, are greatly relieved that the White House and Mexican authorities have reached an agreement” to postpone tariffs, said Peter Friedmann, PCC counsel. “We are encouraged to learn this morning that the US and Mexican authorities are…planning a meeting in 45 days, to review how the recent agreement is being implemented and its effectiveness.”
Friedmann views a 90-day time frame as a useful guideline in considering whether Trump might eventually impose tariffs on Mexico, though the U.S. government hasn’t written that as a firm deadline or even a “red line,” he said.
The joint statement says the U.S. and Mexico will continue “discussions on the terms of additional understandings to address irregular migrant flows and asylum issues, to be completed and announced within 90 days, if necessary.”
In a tweet Saturday, Trump predicted there will be “great cooperation” between the U.S. and Mexico, but added if there’s not, the U.S. can “always go back to our previous, very profitable, position of Tariffs – But I don’t believe that will be necessary.”