Mexico scrambles to slow migrants as Trump tariffs loom

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Last week, US President Donald Trump said Washington would impose a 5 per cent tariff on all goods imported from Mexico beginning on June 10, adding that the duties would go up to 25 per cent by October unless the US southern neighbor alleviated the illegal immigration crisis.

Talks between the US and Mexico continue as the clock ticks toward the tariff deadline.

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"We're going to see if we can solve the problem", Mr Trump told reporters as he departed Ireland yesterday to attend events marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France.

Many in Washington still expect the tariffs to go into effect barring a major new concession from Mexico, though lawmakers who have been in talks with both US and Mexican officials said they were hopeful a deal could be reached to satisfy Trump, or at least delay the tariffs' implementation.

Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) annual meeting at National Harbor near Washington, on March 1, 2019.

Some Republican lawmakers, normally close political allies of Trump, have said they will try to block the tariffs with legislation, which also would draw wide support from opposition Democrats.

The US increased tariffs on Chinese goods amounting to over United States dollars 200 billion even as the two sides were in the midst of negotiations.

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Protesters in Trafalgar Square , London on the second day of the state visit to the United Kingdom by US President Donald Trump . Thousands of protesters gathered in the square Tuesday to express disapproval at the lavish state visit being held for Trump.

"We are committed to enhancing the U.S. -Mexico economic relationship and favor more trade, not tariffs". And the United States would send Honduran and Salvadoran asylum applicants to Guatemala, whose government held talks with acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan last week.

According to the Financial Times, the Mexican government had offered the White House a deployment of 6,000 members of the country's newly created National Guard police force to its southern border.

If he decides to up the ante and slap tariffs on all imports from China and Mexico, the situation could get much worse. About $783 million in commodities and goods came through Washington ports, and the largest share of that was cars and other motor vehicles.

Trump made the Twitter comments from Air Force One as it was returning from Europe to Washington, where Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard was meeting with U.S. officials at the State Department for the third day to discuss USA demands for a crackdown on Central American migrants crossing into the USA from Mexico.

Last week Trump announced that, starting from Monday, June 10, a five percent tariff would be applied to all goods from export-dependent Mexico, rising by five percentage points each month to a high of 25 percent, until U.S. demands on migrant controls were satisfied.

At Mexico's southern border on Thursday, there were visible efforts to slow the migrants and hinder their supporters. That's up by about $100 million from 2017, despite tariffs on steel and aluminum imposed by the United States in early 2018 and retaliatory tariffs from Mexico.

Significant differences remain about how quickly and how much Mexico can reduce unauthorized migration through tougher enforcement measures, the USA official said.

Trump's tariff threat against Mexico also has cast a cloud over the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a trade deal that was meant to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. A senior administration official said the USA once again pressed Mexico to step up enforcement on its southern border and to enter into a "safe third country agreement" that would make it hard for those who enter Mexico from other countries to claim asylum in the U.S.