US President Donald Trump announced in a tweet on Saturday, June 8th that he suspended plans to impose tariffs on Mexico, writing that the country "has agreed to take strong measures" to stem the flow of migrants through Mexico and into the United States.
"I am pleased to inform you that The United States of America has reached a signed agreement with Mexico," Trump tweeted, saying the "Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended."
He said Mexico had agreed to work to "stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border" and said those steps would "greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States."
He also promised that further details on the agreement would be released shortly by the State Department.
The decision came as a surprise as Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Sanders had commented in favour of the tariffs just a day earlier on Friday, when she told reporters in Ireland, "Our position has not changed. The tariffs are going forward as of Monday." AP added that Trump has often said unpredictability helps him negotiate.
Trump tweeted the announcement only hours after returning from his Europe trip and came following several days of intense and sometimes difficult negotiations between officials from both Mexico and the US in Washington.
According to the New York Times, the new levies would have raised the cost of a wide array of products imported into the United States, including cars, cucumbers, jeans, packaged food and chemicals. A warning had been made that the tariffs could have been increased monthly up to an eventual 25%. That would have marked a drastic increase in costs for the United States’ current largest trading partner.
US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, commented on the development and said the US was looking forward to working alongside Mexico “to fulfil these commitments” to stem illegal immigration, Reuters reported.