00:48 GMT10 August 2020
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    US President Donald Trump has expressed confidence that Mexico wanted to make a deal that would allow the country to avert threatened tariffs by stopping the flow of undocumented migrants and drugs across the border into the United States.

    A joint statement by the Mexican ministries of foreign affairs, economy and agriculture on Tuesday estimated "the damages done by tariffs to the two complementary economies" only in agriculture at $117 million a month. The Economy Ministry added that the spike in tariffs would affect all US states and "impact binational value chains, as well as consumers and the jobs created from trade with Mexico".

    READ MORE: Mnuchin, Lighthizer Opposed Trump's Idea to Impose Tariffs on Mexico — Reports

    On Wednesday, Mexican officials arrived at the White House for a high-level meeting, hoping for a deal to stave off Trump's threatened tariffs on Mexican goods. Acoording to Reuters, Mexico will propose the United States redirect security funding under the so-called "Merida Initiative" to boosting development of the Mexican southern border in talks aimed at resolving a dispute over migration.

    Mexico's negotiating position remains not to accept "safe third country status" which would require Central American asylum claimants to seek refuge in Mexico instead of the United States, and ask for a so-called "Marshall Plan" to develop Central America, according to Reuters, citing two Mexican government sources.

    Trump said earlier that the last-minute talks are unlikely to stop the tariffs.

    "We are going to see if we can do something, but I think it's more likely that the tariffs go on, and we will probably be talking during the time tariffs are on, and they are going to be paid".

    Meanwhile, another caravan of migrants, consisting of almost 1,000 nationals of Honduras and El Salvador, illegally entered Mexico, El Universal newspaper reported on Wednesday.

    READ MORE: Mexico Hopes to Prevent Trump-Proposed Tariffs in Eleventh-Hour Talks

    Migrants crossed the bridge connecting Guatemala and Mexico on foot and passed through the checkpoint. On the premises of the migration service, several private security guards attempted to prevent their passage, but could not hold back the crowd. According to the newspaper, there are families with minors and young people in the caravan. The country's police patrols are currently monitoring the caravan.

    Caravans of migrants from Central American countries began to move through Mexico toward the United States seeking asylum last fall. Trump called the surge of arrivals a crisis and declared a national emergency in February to secure funds to build a wall on the border with Mexico.

    Last week, Trump said the United States would impose a 5 per cent tariff on all goods imported from Mexico beginning on 10 June. The tariff will increase to 25 per cent by October unless Mexico acts to curb the immigration crisis.

    READ MORE: Trump's Mexico Tariff Threat Could Affect Entire US — Report


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