/ Modified jun 10, 2019 9:47 a.m.

Sigh of relief for border businesses after Mexico tariff threat

Last year, $14.5 billion in imports from Mexico passed through the Nogales commercial port alone.

Many border businesses breathed a sigh of relief after President Donald Trump’s Friday afternoon tweets announcing tariffs would not be imposed on Mexican imports.

In the tweets, Trump said "the tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended."

That’s thanks to what he said was an agreement in which Mexico will "take strong measures to stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border."

Nogales customs broker Guillermo Valencia said the announcement was welcome news.

"It was going to be bad for everybody, and this is the best-case scenario under the circumstances," Valencia said.

Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard shared details of the deal Friday.

"Mexico will significantly increase its efforts to apply Mexican law toward the end of reducing irregular migration, including the deployment of the National Guard throughout the country, prioritizing the southern border (with Guatemala)," Ebrard said.

Ebrard said Mexico will also allow the U.S. to expand its practice of returning border asylum applicants to Mexico while their cases are processed.

The threatened tariffs would have started at 5% and increased to 25% by October. Americans imported $346 billion worth of goods from Mexico last year, $14.5 billion of which crossed through the Nogales commercial port alone.

You can read the joint statement on the deal here.

Fronteras Desk
This story is from the Fronteras Desk, a collaboration of Southwestern public radio stations, including NPR 89.1. Read more from the Fronteras Desk.
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