Donald Trump pulled back his threat to impose a five percent tariff on imports from Mexico over the weekend, announcing on Twitter account that Mexico had “agreed to take strong measures” to curb illegal immigration through Mexico to the United States. As a result, the proposed tariffs would be “indefinitely suspended.”
However, a New York Times report on the deal revealed that Mexico had not offered new concessions, but instead agreed on measures that it “had already promised to take in prior discussions with the United States over the past several months.” This prompted some critics on Twitter to brand the announced deal as “a complete cave,” and Trump returned to Twitter to make an entirely new claim.
He claims the Times report was “false,” because Mexico had secretly agreed to take certain measures that have not yet been publicly announced. He took to Twitter to say that “some things not mentioned in yesterday press release, one in particular, were agreed upon,” and that those unspecified “things” would be announced at an “appropriate time.”
Trump’s claim that the deal contained still-secret provisions appeared was contradicted by top Mexican officials, who told Bloomberg News that “they were not aware of any side accord in the works.”
Skirting the proposed tariffs was a cause for celebration in Mexico, where President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador held a rally in the border city of Tijuana. He declared that with the immigration deal, Mexico’s “dignity” had been preserved, according to an Associated Press report.
In the agreement with the United States, Mexico said it would accept an unspecified number of asylum seekers rather than allow them to enter the United States, and that the country would deploy its National Guard to give “priority” to border enforcement. Both of those concessions had already been agreed upon as far back as December, months before Trump announced his plan to slap Mexican imports with the five percent tariff, according to the Times report on Saturday.
Trump also took to Twitter to claim that the deal included a major agricultural component as well, writing in all capital letters, “MEXICO HAS AGREED TO IMMEDIATELY BEGIN BUYING LARGE QUANTITIES OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCT FROM OUR GREAT PATRIOT FARMERS!”
According to a Time Magazine report, the deal with Mexico did not contain any provisions at all relating to “agricultural product,” and it remained unclear what Trump was referring to in his all-caps Twitter message.