Not enough progress yet in U.S.-Mexico tariff talks

07 June, 2019, 02:41 | Author: Manuel Hopkins
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"We are optimistic", he said at a news conference at the Mexican Embassy.

Carmakers were pressing Republican politicians in the US Congress to contact the White House to try to convince the president not to move forward with the tariffs, people briefed on the matter told Reuters News Agency. He noted that if no agreement is reached, the first tariff will enter force on Monday. "And we mean it, too".

All of which is to say: Mexico had a wide variety of reasons to believe that Trump would ultimately back down.

In May, more than 144,000 migrants were encountered or arrested at the US-Mexico border, a roughly 32% increase over April and the highest monthly total in 13 years, according to US Customs and Border Protection.

It said 84,542 were families and 11,507 unaccompanied children.

However, officials involved in the talks note that negotiations are still underway and that Trump could very well deem the final agreement insufficient.

"I'm not going to go into any details on the discussions at hand", Schlapp said.

He added that "I think that Mexico will step up and do what should have been done".

Trade negotiations between the United States and China stalled last month after a prospective deal fell through.

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A meeting between high-level USA and Mexican officials on immigration and trade concluded on Wednesday without a deal, NBC News reported, citing a senior administration official.

But Mexico said earlier Tuesday that an agreement was likely to avoid the threatened 5% tariff on Mexican imports, effective Monday. "He is trying to help solve the immigration crisis at the border with tariffs threatened against Mexico", he said. Those tariffs are set to increase by 5 percent each month till they reach 25 percent October 1, where they will remain until "the illegal immigration problem is remedied", Trump said in a tweet.

Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard will attend the talks on tariffs and immigration, set to take place in Washington at 3pm (1900 GMT) today. He acknowledged that the number of migrants has gone up, and said it will be a subject discussed in the continuing talks Thursday. I'm told 40 plus million dollars in Oklahoma wheat went to Mexico.

"But our posture is to preserve, above all, the friendship with the people of the United States", he said. "President Trump is going to impose costs on them, so therefore they will act". "They can do it if they want!"

Mexico's Ambassador to the U.S., Martha Barcena, agreed, but said that there are limits to what they can negotiate.

"I think they will stop it". And getting more than 50 House Republicans to join them could prove even harder given the stronger support Trump's hardball tactics have among the House minority. The White House has also demanded Mexico hold migrants in their country until their asylum claims can be heard in the United States.

Underscoring the scope of the problem, the Department of Homeland Security announced separately that U.S. Border Patrol apprehensions of migrants illegally crossing the border hit the highest level in more than a decade in May: 132,887 apprehensions, including a record 84,542 adults and children traveling together and 11,507 children traveling alone. There also will be additional, lower-level conversations Thursday, the senior administration official told CNN.

President Trump has brought the United States one step closer to a devastating trade war with Mexico, saying talks with Mexican officials at the White House Wednesday ended without a deal.

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