The United States and Mexico have reached an 11th-hour deal to crack down on migration from Central America with President Donald Trump relenting on threats to slap potentially devastating tariffs on the neighbouring country.
With Trump ready to impose 5 per cent tariffs on all Mexican good starting Monday, senior officials hammered out an agreement after three days of intense negotiations at the State Department.
Migrants cross the Rio Grande into the US to turn themselves over to authorities and ask for asylum, as seen from Ciudad, Juarez.
Under the deal, Mexico acknowledged and agreed to expand its policy of taking back migrants from violence-riven Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador as the United States processes their asylum claims.
In turn, Mexico managed to avoid a proposal it had continually rejected – that it process asylum claims on its own soil before migrants try to reach the United States.
“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 US on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended,” Mr Trump wrote on Twitter shortly after returning from a trip to Europe.
“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.”
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who had planned to head Saturday to the border city of Tijuana to show solidarity ahead of the tariffs, said that his trip would instead be to “celebrate.”
“Thanks to the support of all Mexicans, we were able to avoid tariffs on Mexican products exported to the United States,” tweeted Mr Lopez Obrador, who since his election last year has tried studiously not to antagonise Trump.