It was little more than a week ago, on May 30, when President Donald Trump shocked the world by announcing new tariffs to be imposed on all goods imported from Mexico, unless or until that nation stepped up its efforts to cooperate with the United States in dealing with illegal immigration.
The tariff announcement drew bipartisan criticism. More than a few predicted that Trump was bluffing, would fold under pressure, and ultimately back down with nothing to show for it. Imagine their surprise on Friday when Trump announced that he had reached a satisfactory agreement with Mexico, obtaining much-needed concessions and avoiding the costly tariffs.
Trump announces major agreement with Mexico
President Trump tweeted on Friday, “I am pleased to inform you that The United States of America has reached a signed agreement with Mexico. The Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended.”
“Mexico, in turn, has agreed to take strong measures to stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border. This is being done to greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States. Details of the agreement will be released shortly by the State Department. Thank you!” he added.
….stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border. This is being done to greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States. Details of the agreement will be released shortly by the State Department. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 8, 2019
The unexpected announcement followed a week of on-again, off-again negotiations between U.S. and Mexican officials, not to mention several additional tweets from the president to encourage the deal-making process and respond to his skeptical critics.
Mexico agrees to major concessions on immigration to avoid import tariffs
As promised in the president’s tweets, the State Department released a “Joint Declaration” that provided some of the details of the agreement that had been reached to avoid the implementation of the 5 percent tariff, which would have risen incrementally to as high as 25 percent if Mexico hadn’t cooperated.
Mexico agreed to deploy thousands of National Guard troops, chiefly to its southern border shared with Guatemala, to enforce Mexico’s own immigration laws. Further, Mexico agreed to step up efforts at exposing and dismantling human smuggling and trafficking operations, principally by cracking down on the illegal financial and transportation networks that support them.
On top of that, Mexico also agreed to provide a humanitarian haven — including the provision of education, healthcare, and jobs for those who want them — to the Central American migrants seeking asylum in the United States, meaning those potential asylees would reside in Mexico while their petition for asylum was adjudicated — a process the U.S. vowed to handle “as expeditiously as possible.”
The agreement also included a provision that mandated a review after 90 days of the progress made thus far, with both sides vowing to adjust policies or implement additional measures if deemed necessary.
Meanwhile, the U.S. and Mexico would continue to cooperate on “promoting development and economic growth” as well as “prosperity, good governance and security” in southern Mexico and Central America, the idea being to improve the region to remove the economic impetus for many of the migrants to move north to the U.S.
All he does is win, win, win
The establishment media, Democrats, and even many Republicans expressed doubt that Trump would be able to obtain such concessions from Mexico and reach a deal to avoid the threatened tariffs.
But, once again, Trump has proven the perpetual skeptics wrong and achieved yet another victory for both himself and the American people. Are you tired of winning yet?