No deal was reached on Wednesday as top government officials from Mexico and the United States (U.S.) met in Washington for bilateral talks regarding U.S. President Donald Trump's proposed tariffs on Mexican goods.
Mexico: Tariffs Could Worsen Central American Migration
According to Trump, talks will resume on Thursday but the head of state warned that if no agreement is reached by Monday, the five percent tariffs on Mexican goods will take effect.
The U.S. the president wants Mexico to halt the flow of migration, mainly originating from Central America en route to the U.S.-Mexican border, threatening that if the Latin American country does not comply, tariffs will gradually rise to 25 percent. These measures would cause major damage to Mexico’s economy, as about 80 percent of its exports are directed to the U.S.
After the announcement, the world’s biggest credit rating agencies reacted poorly to the news. Moody's modified the outlook on Mexico's sovereign debt rating from “stable” to “negative” but left the rating at “A3”, while Fitch moved the country’s credit score from "BBB+" to "BBB." The Mexican peso fell 0.5 percent on international markets.
On Tuesday, Mexican ministers of foreign affairs, economy, and agriculture, who traveled to Washington for the meetings, said that "the damages done by tariffs to the two complementary economies" would represent at least US$117 million a month in the agriculture sector.
The Mexican Minister of Economy, Graciela Marquez, added that the tariffs would not only affect Mexico but all U.S. states and "impact binational value chains, as well as consumers and the jobs created from trade."
With regards to Trump’s request to enforce tougher migration policies, Mexican Foreign Minister reported that from December 2018 to May 2019 about 80,000 people have been arrested and deported to their countries of origin, adding that in the first five months of this year, 24,451 people requested refuge in Mexico.
"If current trends continue, that number can reach more than 60,000 by the end of 2019," the official affirmed. However, Ebrard categorically rejected the possibility that Mexico would subscribe to a safe third country asylum pact with the U.S.
Under this sort of agreement, migrants would be required to seek asylum in Mexico if they want to reach the U.S., Canada struck a pact of those characteristics back in 2002.
“The limit of the negotiations that we can allow is set by the constitution, by the immigration policy that we subscribed to in Marrakech and the dignity of Mexico," the Foreign Minister concluded as the government delegation prepares to resume bilateral talks on Thursday.