July 2, 2019 / 1:54 PM / 3 months ago

Mexican president thanks Trump for tariff comments as peso strengthens

FILE PHOTO: Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador attends a news conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico June 10, 2019. REUTERS/Gustavo Graf/File Photo

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday thanked U.S. President Donald Trump for recognizing Mexico’s efforts to stem immigration flows and for saying trade tariffs were currently off the table, in comments that strengthened the peso.

Under U.S. pressure to radically shake up its immigration enforcement efforts after apprehensions at the U.S. border hit a more than 10-year high, Mexico last month deployed thousands of militarized police across the country. Migration flows from Central America have since dropped sharply.

“I am grateful that even President Trump is making it known that Mexico is fulfilling its commitment and that there are no threats of tariffs,” Lopez Obrador said.

He acknowledged the impact of Trump's comments on the Mexican peso, which strengthened around 0.25% against the dollar on Tuesday. MXN=

Under the agreement reached between the two countries on June 7, the United States gave Mexico until late July to show results on lowering migration, or face renewed pressure over tariffs and further enforcement measures.

Trump had threatened to impose escalating, blanket tariffs on Mexican goods.

Last week, acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said Mexico’s increased enforcement efforts, not seasonal factors, were behind an anticipated drop of as much as 25% in apprehensions from May’s record levels.

On Monday, when asked if tariffs were entirely off the table, Trump replied, “Well they are now, because I think the president is doing a great job.”

Reporting by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Jonathan Oatis

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