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US, Mexico sign pacts on border, customs collaboration

Mexico and the U.S. have signed three treaties to improve bilateral customs procedures and accelerate the flow of agricultural output across their nearly 2,000-mile border, the two governments said March 26 in a Reuters report.

Mexico's foreign minister Luis Videgaray said the first accord is meant to promote joint cooperation to stop illegal merchandise crossing the border.

The two governments also agreed to implement joint inspections of cargo. Bilateral trade between the two neighbors is worth half a trillion dollars a year, said Reuters.

The third agreement promotes the trade of agricultural goods. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Mexico and the U.S. were working on another 20 memorandums of understanding and letters of intent.

The signing comes at a time when relations between Mexico and the U.S. have been strained by U.S. President Donald Trump's persistent calls for Mexico to pay for the construction of a southern border wall to keep out illegal immigrants.

Mexico-U.S. relations have been also been soured by Trump's frequent threats to scrap the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement if it is not renegotiated to his satisfaction.