Donald Trump boasts of meeting with Prince of 'Whales'

Larry Hoffman
June 14, 2019

Trump, who has called the surge in migrants an "invasion", had threatened to keep raising duties up to 25% unless Mexico did more to curb it.

In return for the USA not imposing a 5% tariff on all Mexican goods, Lopez Obrador's government has pledged to send roughly 6,000 National Guard troops to its own southern border with Guatemala, a major chokepoint for Central American migrants, allow more US asylum seekers to remain in Mexico and crack down on drug and human traffickers. That triggered three days of negotiations that produced a deal in which Mexico agreed to take "strong measures" to cut those numbers. While talking with reporters Monday, the president brandished a sheet of paper and identified it as the agreement in question - but refused to share details of what it contained. Mexico has not yet publicly agreed to this. US farm income dropped 16% a year ago to $63 billion, about half the level it was as recently as 2013. Following the deal, these tariffs have now been suspended.

He imagines that tariffs make him a more powerful dealmaker who is able to dominate foreign rivals; in reality, Trump's tariff threats and trade deals have won him little, if anything. "We got everything we wanted". In an interview, he predicted that "The China deal's going to work out".

Democrats have said they fear Trump will sign off on a trade deal that reduces America's trade imbalance with China in the short term but leaves thorny structural issues in the bilateral trading relationship unresolved. "We'll only move on to that if it's necessary", Pence told the Fox News Channel's "Special Report with Bret Baier" on Monday. The Chinese government has not confirmed plans for a Xi meeting with Trump. Nobody takes Trump seriously. At this point, we can only hope that Trump opens our eyes with more of these "Snapple Facts". Washington is also threatening to impose sanctions for what it deems to be currency manipulation and unbalanced trade in automobiles - which it considers to be a "national security" threat to the USA domestic auto industry.

If the agreement fails, Mexico said it would consider becoming a "safe third country".

"So the wineries come to me and say...'Sir, we're paying a lot of money to put our product into France, and you're letting" - meaning, this country is allowing - "these French wines, which are great wines, but we have great wines too - allowing it to come in for nothing".

It also said 45 calendar days after the joint declaration, the US would assess in consultation with Mexico whether the flow of migrants had been curbed sufficiently. That agreement is intended in part to prevent such unilateral action.

The exemption may represent the clearest solution yet for an industry that's been roiled by the import tariffs, imposed by the Trump administration in January 2018 as a way of leveling the playing field for US panel makers.

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