Sen. Blunt: Mexico Tariff Threat Was Really Aimed At China

US President Donald Trump

Earlier this month, Trump threatened imposing a 5 per cent tariff on Mexican imports if the country did not agree to help stop the inflow of Central American migrants headed to the US southern border.

But he couldn't resist a few digs at his usual suspects and their role (or lack of same) in the deal, the fake media and his least favorite band, Nervous Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats.

Mr. Trump hailed the agreement anyway on Saturday, writing on Twitter: "Everyone very excited about the new deal with Mexico!". Trump said on Thursday he would decide later this month whether to hit Beijing with tariffs on an additional list of $300 billion in Chinese goods.

Under the deal, Mexico agreed to the immediate expansion along the entire border of a program under which the USA returns asylum-seeking migrants to Mexico to await adjudication of their cases.

The article, titled "Mexico Agreed to Take Border Actions Months Before Trump Announced Tariff Deal", suggested that Trump may have touted Friday's deal as a way to "save face" despite not actually making any headway.

"There is now going to be great cooperation between Mexico & the U.S., something that didn't exist for decades", he said in another tweet.

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.

"They might have accelerated the timetable, but by and large the president achieved nothing except to jeopardize the most important trading relationship that the United States of America has".

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

Others, however, think Lopez Obrador had little choice beyond giving some ground in the negotiations, because the threatened tariffs would have caused economic devastation in Mexico, whose economy contracted in the first quarter of this year.

Mexico has agreed, it said, to "unprecedented steps to increase enforcement to curb irregular migration", including the deployment of the Mexican National Guard throughout the country, especially on its southern border with Guatemala. "That will be announced at the appropriate time", he said.

He also said he could move to reimpose tariffs if Mexico doesn't follow through on its promises.

Having threatened Mexico with an escalating series of tariffs - starting at 5 percent and growing to 25 percent - the president faced enormous criticism from global leaders, business executives, Republican and Democratic lawmakers, and members of his own staff that he risked disrupting a critical marketplace.

CBS posted an article headlined, "Mexican ambassador contradicts Trump claim of new agriculture deal", but changed it to "Mexican ambassador won't say whether Mexico agreed to new agricultural deal" after she pushed back. But Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard has said Mexico did not agree to it.

Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, said the group would continue to press its legal challenge to the policy.



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