Trump says immigration deal will work if Mexico plays its part

Andrew Cummings
June 9, 2019

Yesterday, the United States and Mexico struck an accord to avert a tariff war when Mexico agreed to expand a contentious asylum programme and deploy security forces to stem the flow of illegal immigration from Central America.

Trump had announced the tariff plan last week, declaring in a tweet that, on June 10, the U.S. would "impose a 5% Tariff on all goods coming into our Country from Mexico, until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP".

That would have been a drastic cost increase for the United States' largest trading partner, one that could have significantly increased prices for American consumers and ruptured long-established supply chains.

The Trump administration says numerous claims are not valid.

Earlier, Pelosi stressed that Trump's approach towards Mexico was wrong and dubbed the tariff threat policy "dangerous territory".

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders weighed in on the successful agreement, saying President Trump's work with Mexico is a win for America.

"The governments of the U.S. and Mexico will work together to immediately implement a durable solution", it said. There was no mention of expanded Mexican purchases of US agricultural products in the joint U.S. -Mexican declaration outlining the immigration deal.

"The United States looks forward to working alongside Mexico to fulfill these commitments so that we can stem the tide of illegal migration across our southern border and to make our border strong and secure", Pompeo said.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer reacted with sarcasm about the agreement late on Friday. "This is an historic night!" he tweeted. "Now that the problem is solved, I'm sure we won't be hearing any more about it in the future". The program, commonly known as Remain in Mexico, has been operating since January in the border cities of Tijuana, Mexicali and Ciudad Juarez.

President Donald Trump gives thumbs up before departing Shannon Airport, Friday, June 7, 2019, in Shannon, Ireland.

Leaving the State Department Friday night, Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said he thought the deal struck "a fair balance" because the USA "had more drastic proposals and measures at the start". However, shortly after the president's announcement, several Republicans applauded the deal, including some who had publicly rebuked Trump for announcing the tariffs. The notion that you put a tariff because there are too many people crossing the border is just miles away from any letter and spirit of the WTO agreement.

The American flag may be flying on USA embassies around the globe, but you won't find a rainbow flag hanging with it. Migrants who still manage to cross into the United States from Mexico "will be rapidly returned to Mexico, where they may await the adjudication of their asylum claims", the statement said.

As Air Force One crossed the Atlantic Ocean, the president raised hopes for a deal with the Mexican government that would stave off tariffs on goods coming from America's southern neighbor, starting at 5 percent and escalating on the first of each month to a high of 25 percent on October 1.

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