Mexico has said it will increase tariffs on $2.4bn of 90 industrial and agricultural goods under the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), which allows it to impose the sanctions even though it has not used them since the US introduced the pilot truck scheme.

US exports to Mexico totalled $151.5bn last year. Gerardo Ruíz Mateos, Mexico’s economy minister, said: “We believe that the action taken by the US is wrong, protectionist and in clear violation of Nafta.”

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Congress stopped the pilot truck programme over widespread concerns that Mexican trucks are unsafe. However, a study funded by the US department of transportation found that when comparing like with like, Mexican trucks were often safer than their US counterparts.