A Ford SUV on the assembly line in Mexico
Ford SUVs like this one on an assembly line in Mexico would have been taxed if Trump had followed through with his tariff threat. Courtesy ProMexico

President Trump announced Friday that tariffs he threatened against Mexico will not go into effect, drawing a sigh of relief in the San Diego business community.

“This is welcomed news by the thousands of businesses across the U.S. that were grappling with the uncertainty these threats cause,” said Jerry Sanders, president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“We are optimistic that this new agreement will prevent further threats — and we can refocus efforts on passing USMCA and securing a prosperous and mutually beneficial relationship with our country’s number one trading partner,” he added.

Trump tweeted just after 5:30 p.m. California time that the tariffs would not go into effect because of a deal with Mexico over immigration through that country.

“I am pleased to inform you that the United States of America has reached a signed agreement with Mexico,” tweeted Trump. “The tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended.”

He said Mexico  has agreed to “strong measures to stem the tide of migration through Mexico” to the U.S. border.

According to the State Department, Mexico has agreed to deploy its national guard to apprehend migrants and fight gangs, increase intelligence sharing with the United States, and allow migrants seeking asylum to wait in that country.

Trump had threatened to impose tariffs on imports from Mexico and increase them by 5% each month until Mexico stopped Central American migrants from traveling through that country to apply for asylum in the United States.

The tariffs would be paid by American consumers and U.S. companies that manufacture in Mexico, but over time would hurt the Mexican economy as well. California imports more than $18 billion worth of goods from Mexico, and trade between the two countries supports 566,000 California jobs.

Top Mexican officials have been in Washington throughout the week trying to persuade the Trump administration not to impose tariffs. Trump also faced a potential rebellion by Republicans in the Senate, who largely opposed the tariffs.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the deal “good news for Kentuckians and for all Americans that U.S. families won’t be hit with the price increases that would have resulted from new tariffs on imports from Mexico.”

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.