Mexican president holds Tijuana rally celebrating deal with U.S.

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SAN DIEGO — The rally Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was scheduled to appear at Saturday in Tijuana will now be a celebration after President Donald Trump announced yesterday a deal between the United States and Mexico had been reached.

San Diego-area business leaders are expressing relief this weekend after President Donald Trump announced a deal between the United States and Mexico that will avert any added tariffs on Mexican imports.

“I’m getting messages like ‘thank God, we made it,”‘ Eduardo Acosta, vice president of R.L. Jones Customhouse Brokers, a San Diego firm that helps companies move goods through U.S. customs checks, told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “The people at the factories in Tijuana were also happy because their corporate clients in the U.S. were extremely concerned about the expense and some were even threatening to pull out of Mexico. So everyone in the factories is keeping their jobs, costs won’t go up for consumers, and it’s business as usual, which is what we like.”

Trump had threatened to impose a 5% tariff June 10 on all Mexican imports if the Mexican government did not crack down on immigrants from countries like Guatemala entering its southern border and, ultimately, attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally or otherwise.

Trump had said the tariffs could rise to as high as 25% by Oct. 1, a threat that was met with concern from local and national business advocacy groups as well as members of Congress. The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce said the proposal would be “significantly damaging” to the region’s $2.5 billion manufacturing supply chain with Mexico.

The proposal had also bred concern for the future of the U.S.-Mexico- Canada Agreement, a trade deal that would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. The three countries aim to ratify the deal at some point this year after signing it last November.

On Friday, however, Trump tweeted: “I am pleased to inform you that The United States of America has reached a signed agreement with Mexico. The Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended. Mexico, in turn, has agreed to take strong measures to stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border. This is being done to greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States. Details of the agreement will be released shortly by the State Department. Thank you!”

Some business leaders say even the threat of the tariffs had a damaging effect on the economy.

Paola Avila, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce’s vice president of international business affairs, told the Union-Tribune that “in some cases, it (Trump’s threat) already stopped business planning, business investment and it affected the value of the peso. While we’re pleased this threat has been lifted, make no mistake, it already had a negative impact.”

Meanwhile, President Obrador was scheduled to hold a rally in downtown Tijuana Saturday at 4 p.m. to celebrate the agreement. Obrador originally announced the rally as a show of unity and defiance last week after Trump’s tariff threat.

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