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Mexico leader hints at migration concessions amid US trade spat

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the US Chamber of Commerce
Trump administration's
Trump's Republican Party
Al Jazeera Media Network

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador
Donald Trump
Jesus Seade
Rosalind Jordan

Central Americans

North America
Central America

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El Salvador

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The New York Times
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President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says he is expecting 'good results' from talks planned in Washington next week.Mexico's president has hinted his country could tighten migration controls to defuse US President Donald Trump's threat to impose tariffs on Mexican goods.President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Saturday that he was expecting "good results" from talks planned in Washington next week.He said Mexico could be ready to step up measures to contain a recent surge in migration in order to reach a deal with the United States."The main thing is to inform about what we're already doing on the migration issue, and if it's necessary to reinforce these measures without violating human rights, we could be prepared to reach that deal," Lopez Obrador said.His comments follow those of Jesus Seade, deputy foreign minister for North America, who told Reuters news agency on Friday that Mexico wanted to sharpen existing measures to curb the flow of Central Americans trying to reach the US soil.Lopez Obrador was asked in the news conference whether he would allow Mexico to become a so-called safe third country, which would allow US authorities to send migrants back to Mexico and make them apply for asylum there.He did not answer the question, but pressure has grown steadily on his government to give ground on the issue.Following an agreement with Lopez Obrador, US authorities have since January begun sending migrants back to Mexico to wait there while their US asylum claims are processed.The number of ports of entry for returnees under the so-called "Remain in Mexico" policy has gradually increased, and policy experts say it could be expanded to more cities.Al Jazeera's Rosalind Jordan, reporting from Washington, said: "It's unusual and perhaps illegal for a government to impose tariffs for non-economic or trade-related reasons."She also said a number of organisations, including the US Chamber of Commerce, which represents most US businesses in the country, was considering to sue the US government to prevent the tariffs from taking effect."Their argument is that this is not only to hurt US businesses, but it is creating a hostile environment for these businesses to operate within.

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