President Trump has hailed a deal reached with Mexico to help stem the flow of migrants to the US after he threatened to impose trade tariffs.
Under the deal, in which Mexico agreed to take “unprecedented steps”, the duties that were due to come into effect on June 10 have been suspended.
Donald Trump said: “Mexico will try very hard, and if they do that, this will be a very successful agreement.”
There were fears that the tariffs could hurt US businesses and consumers.
Under President Trump’s proposal, duties would have risen by 5% every month on goods including cars, beer, tequila, fruit and vegetables until they hit 25% in October.
The deal was reached at the end of three days of negotiations which saw Washington demand a crackdown on Central American migrants.
In a joint declaration released by the US state department, the two countries said Mexico would take “unprecedented steps” to curb irregular migration and human trafficking.
However, it seems the US did not get one of its reported key demands, which would have required Mexico to take in asylum seekers heading for the US and process their claims on its own soil.
Under the deal, Mexico agreed to deploy its National Guard throughout the country from June 10, pledging up to 6,000 additional troops along Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala. It will also take “decisive action” to tackle human smuggling networks.
The US agreed to expand its program of sending asylum seekers back to Mexico while they await reviews of their claims. In return, the US will “work to accelerate” the adjudication process.
Both countries pledged to “strengthen bilateral co-operation” over border security, including “co-ordinated actions” and information sharing.
The declaration added that discussions would continue, and final terms would be accepted and announced within 90 days.
Should Mexico’s actions “not have the expected results”, the agreement warned that additional measures could be taken but did not specify what these would be.
In one of a series of tweets about the deal, President Trump quoted National Border Patrol Council president Brandon Judd as saying: “That’s going to be a huge deal because Mexico will be using their strong Immigration Laws – A game changer. People no longer will be released into the U.S.”
Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard told journalists: “I think it was a fair balance, because they have more drastic measures and proposals at the start, and we have reached some middle point.”
Speaking at a separate news conference, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said “we couldn’t be more pleased with the agreement”.
President Trump caught members of his own party unaware when he announced the proposed tariffs last week.