Trump's Mexico deal is victory for 'hostage-taking', ex-WTO head says

Larry Hoffman
June 10, 2019

The US will not impose trade tariffs on Mexico after the two countries reached a deal over immigration, US President Donald Trump has announced.

Mr Trump tweeted early yesterday: "Mexico will try very hard, and if they do that, this will be a very successful agreement for both the United States and Mexico!" Avoiding tariffs sends a calming message to ratings agencies anxious about a possible trade war, he said, adding that President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's government had won USA recommitment to Central American development and resisted "safe third country" designation, a concession sought by Washington that would have required asylum seekers to apply first in Mexico. He cited Mexico's commitment to "strong measures" intended "to greatly reduce, or eliminate" illegal immigration from Mexico.

According to the agreement, Mexico will deploy its National Guard throughout the country to apprehend migrants, "giving priority to its southern border" with Guatemala a statement from the U.S. State Department said.

The agreement that suspended Trump's plan to tariff Mexican goods by 5% percent was the focus of a few of his tweets Saturday.

"Thanks to all the people who have supported us by realizing the greatness of Mexico", he wrote.

USA border officers apprehended more than 132,000 people crossing from Mexico last month, the highest monthly level since 2006.

"I have said before, migration into Mexico also has to be regulated. orderly, legal and safe, " Sanchez Cordero told The Associated Press.

The talks had been focused, in part, on attempting to reach a compromise on changes that would make it harder for migrants who pass through Mexico from other countries to claim asylum in the United States, those monitoring the situation said.

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.

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. Americans bought $378 billion worth of Mexican imports a year ago, led by cars and auto parts.

In the joint statement, the United States and Mexico said they would continue discussions and could announce further measures if the plan does not lead to "the expected results".

The Trump Administration must also do much more to cooperate in a meaningful way with Mexico in cracking down on smuggling networks.

"Reports in the evening indicated that Mexico's negotiators with Washington have offered to immediately deploy 6,000 National Guard troops to the border with Guatemala".

But for at least one cowboy and one Indian, Trump is the best hope for getting done what Americans want to get done, including securing the border so that drugs and human trafficking will no longer pose the grave threat they do in border states like Griffin's New Mexico. We've already seen a ramp-up of action by Mexican law enforcement and the military in detaining illegal immigrants before they reach the southern border. Mexico has rejected those offers in the past, but United States officials have said that Mexico was more open to some version of this idea in talks on Thursday.

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