Donald Trump insisted in a brief Monday afternoon Q&A with reporters that part of his new borders-and-trade deal with Mexico hasn’t yet been announced.
If true, that would contradict the president’s critics who have said the bargain consisted of older measures that Mexico had agreed to months ago.
The White House has cast it as a victory fueled by Trump’s threats of new tariffs on Mexican products, and says a previously undisclosed facet of the agreement is still to come.
‘I want to thank Mexico, and we do have one other thing that we’ll be announcing at the appropriate time, but they have to get approval from their legislative body,’ he said at the White House.
Mexico’s foreign minister said Monday that the deal doesn’t include any secret provisions.
‘I don’t think they’ll be denying it very long,’ Trump told reporters. ‘It’s all done.’
President Donald Trump continued to insist Monday afternoon that despite Mexico’s denials, they agreed to a so-far undisclosed feature of his borders-and-tariffs deal that will require the approval of the legislature in Mexico City
These Central American migrants are pictured Monday crossing the Suchiate river on a raft from Tecun Uman, in Guatemala, to Ciudad Hidalgo, in Mexico; reaching Mexico is the first step of a journey that for many will end on American soil
The president wants more than just his border wall to stop the flow of migrants to the U.S. by the hundreds of thousands; he wants Mexico to intercept them before they get to America
Trump spoke to reporters at the White House on Monday as he greeted the Indianapolis 500 champions, Team Penske
Trump also made sure the threat of new tariffs continued to hang over Mexico’s national assembly like a blanket of smog.
‘If they don’t get approval, we’ll have to think in terms of tariffs, or whatever, but it’s just another aspect of what we’ve done,’ he said. ‘It was all done because of the tariffs and because of the relationship that we have with Mexico.’
The president hours earlier had defended his love of using tariffs as negotiating tools, saying in a television interview that the U.S. ‘would be captive to every country’ in the world without them, ‘and we have been for many years.’
Trump had said he planned to apply progressively steeper border taxes to everything Mexico exports to the U.S. if America’s neighbor to the south didn’t take drastic action to stop migrants and drugs from crossing northward.
He appeared Monday to have negotiated a solution to the problem of more than 100,000 Central American migrants streaming through Mexico and into the U.S. each month and requetsing asylum when they reach American soil.
Trump’s tariff threat worked, he claimed Monday, despite skeptical media coverage led by a New York Times article that painted the resulting deal as a mishmash of minor concessions that had been agreed to months earlier.
The Times ‘wrote a story, like I already made the deal. It’s nonsense,’ he said on CNBC.
Trump said Monday morning in a CNBC interview that the threat of new tariffs on Mexico’s exports into the U.S. drove his counterpart in Mexico City to make a major negotiating concession that is dramatic enough to require a vote in the nation’s national assembly
Trump and Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (pictured) issued a joint statement last week saying the Mexican government agreed to deploy ‘its National Guard throughout Mexico, giving priority to its southern border’ in a deal that removed the threat of new tariffs on products shipped into the U.S.
Central American migrants waited Monday outside the Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid in Tapachula, Mexico; Trump wants them and others in their situation to apply for U.S. asylum in Mexico – or to stay there since it’s a safe country compared to Guatemala or El Salvador
‘We talked about it for months and months and months, and they wouldn’t get there. And we just said, “Hey, look, if you don’t get there, we’re just going to have to charge you hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes.’
‘People haven’t used tariffs, but tariffs are a beautiful thing when you’re the piggy bank, when you have all the money,’ he said. ‘Everyone’s trying to get our money.’
In a Monday morning tweet the president said the resulting agreement would include a previously unannounced feature so dramatic that it would require a vote in Mexico’s parliament to ratify.
He didn’t say what that was, but claimed in his phone-in interview that ‘most people’ involved in border controversies ‘understand exactly what that is.’
‘It’s going to be brought up because it has to be brought by their legislative body. It’s got to be taken to a vote,’ he said, ‘so we didn’t bring it up, but most people know that answer.’
‘This is something the U.S. has been trying to get for over 20 years with Mexico. They’ve never been able to do it. As soon as I put tariffs on the table, it was done. It took two days.’
Trump claimed Monday that his tariff strategy was more than a threat – that he would be equally happy for the U.S. to reap a windfall of billions of dollars and force companies in Mexico to produce goods in the U.S. in order to avoid the added cost of exporting them.
Trump said in a tweet Monday morning that Democrats want open borders, as he struck a deal with Mexico for the nation to help stop the flow of Central American migrants from the south
Not just Hispanics: Migrants from India are shown Monday being detained at a checkpoint on a road in Tapachula, Mexico
‘They’ll come into the United States or go to other countries also,’ he said of a predicted flood of jobs out of Mexico, ‘but in the case of Mexico I’d say we’d get virtually 100 per cent of the companies.’
But for now he’s focused on changing Mexico’s policies that affect their southern and norther borders, and he tweeted Monday morning that the country’s government ‘is doing more for the USA on Illegal Immigration than the Democrats’ in Congress.
‘In fact, the Democrats are doing NOTHING,’ he continued. ‘[T]hey want Open Borders, which means Illigal Immigration, Drugs and Crime.’
Democrats and Trump have been in a longstanding feud about the southern border, and specifically funding for the president’s promised border barrier.
In January there was a partial government shutdown when they could not agree on a spending bill that included funding for his wall.
Trump declared a national emergency, citing that there was a humanitarian crisis at the southern border due to the high rates of crime, illegal immigration, drug smuggling and human trafficking.
In a pair of tweets, the president also said he would be happy to snap back his tariff threat if Mexico’s legislators don’t approve the deal
Last month Trump threatened he would impose a 5 per cent tariff on Mexican imports if the country doiesn’t assist in stopping Central American migrants from flowing into the U.S. illegally.
He said the tax on those goods would increase each month the problem persisted until October, when it would cap at 25 per cent.
The tariff would have been imposed Monday, but Trump said he reached a deal with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador for the nation to assist.
The deal, in part, according to a joint declaration issued Friday after a meeting between Trump and Lopez Obrador, said Mexico agreed to deploy ‘its National Guard throughout Mexico, giving priority to its southern border.’
Trump says there is much more to the deal than what was outlined in the joint statement.
‘We have fully signed and documented another very important part of the Immigration and Security deal with Mexico, one that the U.S. has been asking about getting for many years,’ Trump posted in a pair of tweets Monday.
President Donald Trump attacked CNN and the New York Times on Saturday as ‘the enemy of the people’ after the Times published an article that said there was nothing new about Trump’s deal with Mexico
He called the article a ‘badly reported hit job’
He also said that if Mexico did not uphold its part of the deal, the tariffs would still be implemented.
‘It will be revealed in the not too distant future and will need a vote by Mexico’s Legislative body!’ he said. ‘We do not anticipate a problem with the vote but, if for any reason the approval is not forthcoming, Tariffs will be reinstated!’
After Trump and Lopez Obrador put out the joint statement, The New York Times published its article claiming the deal was reached months ago.
The president called the story ‘fake news’ and insisted the deal was brand new.
‘When will the Failing New York Times admit that their front page story on the the (sic) new Mexico deal at the Border is a FRAUD and nothing more than a badly reported ‘hit job’ on me, something that has been going on since the first day I announced for the presidency! Sick Journalism,’ he posted to Twitter.