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Mexico said Friday it has slashed undocumented migration to the United States by 56 percent since May, aiming to dodge the threat of tariffs under a deal the two countries are set to review next week.
America's southern neighbor agreed in June to crack down on migration, mainly from poor countries in Central America, under the threat of import tariffs from President Donald Trump, who is seeking re-election on a largely anti-immigration platform.
'I - Threat - Tariffs - Percent - Reduction
'I do not think there will be a threat of tariffs because there is a 56 percent reduction,' said Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, who is due to travel to Washington next week to review that agreement with the Trump administration 90 days in.
Ebrard repeated Mexico's refusal to become a so-called safe third country, which Trump has pressed for. Under such an arrangement it would agree to make migrants who cross its territory seek asylum in Mexico rather than the United States.
Mexican - Strategy - Country - Interests - Minister
'The Mexican strategy is working. We will not agree to be a safe third country ... because it goes against our interests,' the minister said. 'It is unfair to our country.'
Ebrard said he will tell Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo when he meets with them Tuesday that the way to fight undocumented migration from Central America is to reduce the poverty and violence that are prompting people to leave in the first place.
Washington - Aid - Commitments - Region
He said that would include pushing Washington to fulfill its economic aid commitments to the region.
'The United States promised $2 billion, but we're still waiting for... a little more than $1 billion' of that, he told a news conference.
Trump - May - Tariffs - Mexican - Goods
Trump threatened in May to impose tariffs on all Mexican goods, gradually rising as high as 25 percent, if the...
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