(Bloomberg) -- President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he’s optimistic Mexico will reach a deal with the U.S. to halt tariffs and will detail his stance on the threat from President Donald Trump on Saturday.
AMLO, as he’s known, said on Friday that national guard troops will be stationed at Mexico’s southern and northern borders. Asked about reports that the government may have Guatemalans file asylum requests to the U.S. while in Mexico, the president said he wasn’t aware of the details of the negotiations.
Talks between U.S. and Mexico officials were set to continue Friday in Washington after Trump said he’d slap generalized tariffs of 5% on Mexican goods starting June 10. The U.S. has been preparing a draft emergency order to allow Trump to proceed with the tariffs in the event that negotiations fail to satisfy his concerns on immigration. While AMLO has promised to keep friendly ties with the U.S., he criticized his northern neighbor for a lack of focus on the causes of migration.
"Unfortunately, there’s a mixing of migration with commercial matters," he said. "It’s not taking into account what’s happening in Central America, the profound crisis taking place."
Asked what his stance is on Trump’s tariff pledge, AMLO said he’d reveal his position on Saturday at a rally in Tijuana. He held up peace signs when a reporter asked what he thought of Trump saying the U.S. doesn’t need Mexico, but Mexico needs the U.S.
It’s not possible to resolve immigration problems by force, AMLO said, adding that he wants to remain friends with Trump.
Lopez Obrador has struck a conciliatory tone with the U.S. throughout his administration, and has doubled down on that stance since Trump threatened tariffs last week.
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