September 5, 2019 / 1:49 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Mexican official says U.S. duties on steel not tied to migration

(New throughout, adds background)

MEXICO CITY, Sept 5 (Reuters) - New U.S. duties imposed on steel are “totally” a trade issue and not related to migration or national security, a Mexican official said on Thursday, at the end of a 90-day period for Mexico to curb U.S.-bound migration from Central America.

Mexico’s deputy foreign minister for North America, Jesus Seade, made the remark in a Twitter post after the U.S. Commerce Department said it imposed duties on Chinese and Mexican structural steel.

The duties followed a preliminary determination that producers in both countries had dumped fabricated structural steel on the U.S. market at prices below fair market value.

Mexico’s government in June averted a threat by U.S. President Donald Trump to impose tariffs on all Mexican exports by vowing to take tougher measures to slow migration, setting a Sept. 5 deadline.

Seade added that work is continuing to ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement that would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. Mexican lawmakers have ratified the deal, but their counterparts in the Washington and Ottawa have yet to follow suit.

Democrats who hold a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives say they will proceed only when their concerns over implementation and labor standards have been addressed. (Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and David Gregorio)

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