Trump teases additional deal that Mexican Foreign Secretary suggests doesn't exist

Daniel Fowler
June 11, 2019

US President Donald Trump renewed his threat Monday to slap tariffs on Mexico as controversy erupted over what exactly is in the countries' new migration deal, which the Mexican government admitted would be reviewed in 45 days.

Part of the agreement requires approval by the Mexican Congress...

What both sides do agree on is that Mexico will deploy thousands of national police to its southern border region to help enforce its own immigration laws.

"In the meeting with the vice president of the United States, they were insistent on the safe third country issue", Ebrard told a press conference, three days after reaching a last minute deal to avoid punitive tariffs over the surge of Central American migrants arriving at the US-Mexican border.

"The Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the USA on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended", the President said on social media.

Trump's tweet followed a similar attack on the Times on Sunday, when the United States president, en route to a second day of golf at one of his courses in Virginia, accused the media outlet of "bad reporting" and "Fake News" over its coverage of migrants crossing the southern border into the US.

As part of the deal, Mexico has agreed to a number of security measures.

Trump has long criticized Mexico for not doing enough to cut the number of people arriving at the southern US border and ahead of Friday's announcement had vowed to impose 5% tariffs, with future escalations, unless the Mexican government took more action to curb the surge of migrants. "But we don't have a specific agreement on agricultural products".

Asked by VOA why - if there was such an agreement - Mexico is denying it, Trump replied: "I don't think they'll be denying it very long".

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The centerpiece of Mr. Trump's deal was an expansion of a program to allow asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while their legal cases proceed.

Another part of the deal was Mexico's agreement to deploy 6,000 National Guard servicemen to Mexico's southern border and across the country in order to curb the influx of immigrants crossing into the U.S. illegally.

While he did not go into detail, Ebrard suggested that asylum seekers might have to seek refuge in the first country they reached after leaving their homeland.

The tweets came amid questions about just how much of the deal - announced with great fanfare Friday - was really new.

"It will be revealed in the not too distant future and will need a vote by Mexico's Legislative body!" Everybody said, 'If you don't have them, you can't win.' Well, I won.

"High tariff rates constitute the single most restrictive barrier to U.S. wine exports", the group says on its website.

In a further sign the deal is a work-in-progress, Ebrard said Mexico and the U.S. would hold talks with Guatemala, Panama, Brazil and the United Nations refugee agency on additional measures to control migration, because the solution "has to be regional".

Of course, this approach also means Trump can basically claim anything he wants, and Mexico will be forced to try to make rhetorical lemonade.

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