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Trump says immigration deal will work if Mexico plays its part

With Trump ready to impose 5% tariffs on all Mexican goods starting Monday, senior officials hammered out the agreement after three days of intense negotiations at the State Department.

FILE: US President Donald Trump delivers a televised address to the nation on funding for a border wall from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington DC on 8 January 2019. Picture: AFP

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump said Saturday that the last-minute deal struck to avert tariffs on Mexico will work if America's southern neighbour plays its part in cracking down on migration across the border.

"Mexico will try very hard, and if they do that, this will be a very successful agreement for both the United States and Mexico!" Trump tweeted early Saturday.

Under the deal announced late Friday, Mexico acknowledged and agreed to expand its policy of taking back migrants from violence-riven Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador while the United States processes their asylum claims.

In turn, Mexico managed to avoid a proposal it had continually rejected - that it process asylum claims on its own soil before migrants try to reach the United States.

With Trump ready to impose 5% tariffs on all Mexican goods starting Monday, senior officials hammered out the agreement after three days of intense negotiations at the State Department.

Trump, who ran for president pushing a tough line on immigration that included denouncing undocumented Mexicans as rapists, had vowed to raise tariffs as high as 25% unless Mexico - which exports $350 billion in goods each year to the United States - took tougher action against undocumented migrants.

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