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Photo: Luis Diaz Devesa/Getty Images

President Trump announced on Twitter Friday evening that tariffs against Mexican goods were "indefinitely suspended" following Mexico's agreement to take stronger measures to curb immigration across the southern border of the U.S.

Why it matters: This averts a new round of tariffs.

State of play: Mexico is expected to take necessary measures — including increased security — to “greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States.”

  • Had a deal not been reached, a 5% tariff was expected to go into effect starting Monday.
  • The suspension of these tariffs means Trump has avoided a possible Congressional battle, reports Politico.
"We would like to thank Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard for his hard work to negotiate a set of joint obligations that benefit both the United States and Mexico. The United States looks forward to working alongside Mexico to fulfill these commitments so that we can stem the tide of illegal migration across our southern border and to make our border strong and secure."
— U.S. Department of State statement on the conclusion of negotiations

The big picture: Mexico — the United States' top trading partner — traded an estimated $671 billion worth of goods in 2018 according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

Details of the deal:

  • Mexico has agreed to deploy 6,000 National Guard troops throughout the country, but will focus on its southern border with Guatemala — where the largest number of migrants trying to cross into the U.S. come from.
  • Mexico has agreed to house migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. — which will include, housing, offering jobs, health care and education — while the U.S. agrees to accelerate asylum claims.
  • If the deal does not have the "expected results," then the 2 nations will meet again in 90 days.
  • There will also be a new focus on regional stability and prosperity, with the U.S. supporting the Comprehensive Development Plan, which focuses on curbing migration, launched by Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

Go deeper: The behind-the-scenes scramble to announce Trump's Mexico tariff surprise

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.