Trump is confident Mexico will enforce new immigration deal

Daniel Fowler
June 9, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump said Saturday that the last-minute deal struck to avert tariffs on Mexico will work if America's southern neighbor plays its part in cracking down on migration across the border.

Mr Lamy said Mr Trump had complaints worth heeding, noting that some WTO rules now made it hard to constrain Chinese trade practices that have caused frictions.

Lamy said it was understandable that Mexico had sought to extricate itself from the tariff bind, but noted it ran the risk of facing more threats in future.

Details of the agreement will be made public shortly, Mr Trump added.

The tweet marked a change in tone from earlier Friday, when his spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters: "Our position has not changed".

USA business groups and some of Trump's Republican allies warned that a trade fight with Mexico would hurt the US economy and lobbied the administration to back down. Such a move could have prompted retaliation from Mexico in the form of new barriers to trade that could hurt the fortunes of many industries - spurring job losses and potentially even throwing North America into a recession.

From the moment Trump announced the tariff threat, observers wondered whether he would pull the trigger, noting his habit of creating problems and then claiming credit when he rushes in to solve them.

Trump's Mexico deal is victory for 'hostage-taking', ex-WTO head says
Those steps, he added would "greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States". It comes at the end of three days of negotiations, which saw Washington demand a crackdown on Central American migrants.

Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said in a Tweet: "There will be no application of tariffs by the USA on Monday". But the State Department's Undersecretary for Management Brian Bulatao has denied all their requests so far this year, saying they can display the flag in other places inside and outside the embassies instead, NBC News reports.

The state department released a joint declaration Friday evening, which says "Mexico will take unprecedented steps to increase enforcement to curb irregular migration, to include the deployment of its National Guard throughout Mexico, giving priority to its southern border".

It was not immediately clear whether Mexico made such a pledge. Border agents detained or turned back more than 144,000 migrants at the southwest border in May, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported Wednesday.

But Leticia Calderón Cheluis, a migration expert at the Mora Institute in Mexico City, said the agreement is essentially a series of compromises exclusively by Mexico, which she said committed to "a double clamp at both borders".

Pence was among the administration officials involved in the talks while the president was in Europe.

Republican senators had expressed opposition to the use of tariffs to address this issue, and there was a potential fight brewing between Congress and the president over the tariffs if it came to a vote.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer reacted with sarcasm about the agreement late on Friday.

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