WASHINGTON: US-Mexico migration talks were set to resume on Friday as Mexican officials continue their push to reach an agreement that would avert U.S. tariffs set to take effect next week.
Vice President Mike Pence said progress has been made after two days of talks but gave no specifics. He said President Donald Trump, who returns from a week-long trip to Europe on Friday afternoon, would have final say on any deal.
“There has been some movement on their part. It’s been encouraging,” Pence said on Thursday.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said the Mexican government had offered to send 6,000 members of the National Guard to secure its southern border with Guatemala.
He said migration talks would continue on Friday.
Trump rattled global markets, Mexican officials and his fellow Republicans in Congress last week by threatening 5% tariffs on Mexican imports starting on Monday if Mexico did not step up efforts to stem an increase in migrants heading for the U.S. southern border.
Wall Street futures signaled a positive opening for U.S. markets on Friday after stocks rebounded on Thursday amid optimism that a deal could be close. Still, it remained unclear if Mexican pledges to curb migration flows would persuade Trump to drop his tariff threat.
Mexico in recent days moved to block and detain mostly Central American migrants crossing its own southern border headed for the United States. It also acted to block the bank accounts of more than two dozen people allegedly linked to human trafficking.
The U.S. president is eager to show progress on his 2016 campaign pledge to take a hard line on immigration as he seeks re-election in 2020 on his “America First” platform.
But Trump has also staked his tenure on the success of the U.S. economy, and many economists see trade tensions and a tilt toward protectionism as increasing recession risks.
Economic officials on Thursday warned global trade tensions and rising tariffs could threaten U.S. expansion and the global economy.
Analysts have also warned that tariffs could spark a recession in Mexico, something Mexican officials have said could increase the number of migrants fleeing to the United States.