Economy

Democrats slam Trump's use of trade threats against ally Mexico

Democrats slam Trump's use of trade threats against ally Mexico

In an interview on CBS News' "Face The Nation", Blunt said Trump has always believed tariffs should be in the nation's "arsenal".

Trump said that if his predecessor, Barack Obama, made the deal he made with Mexico, the media would declare a "National Holiday" in his honor.

The Times, however, said that sources noted this pledge was made in March during talks between then-Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Mexican Secretary of the Interior Olga Sanchez.

"I think the president has completely overblown what he reports to have achieved", he said on ABC's "This Week".

And the agreement to expand a program allowing asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while their cases are being processed was reached in December, the officials said.

Mnuchin, who said he participated in a call with Trump just before the deal was announced, said the president would retain the right to impose tariffs if Mexico did not keep its commitments.

More news: U.S. has benefited richly from bilateral trade, says Beijing | # AsiaNewsNetwork

The Mexican side, for its part, agreed to bolster security on its southern border and expand its policy of taking back Central American migrants as the USA processes their asylum claims.

President Trump hasn't publicly responded to Saturday's speech in Tijuana but in Friday's tweet, he thanked the Mexican government for working to come to this agreement. To date, migrants have been returned at only three of the busiest ports of entry.

"From our perspective of where we are now, it is a result of them backtracking on significant commitments", Mnuchin said.

A former director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Pascal Lamy, said it was understandable that Mexico had sought to extricate itself from the tariff bind, but said Mexico ran the risk of more threats from Trump in the future. At Mexico's southern border Thursday, there were visible efforts to slow the migrants and hinder their supporters. Mexico will "offer jobs, healthcare and education" to those people, the agreement stated. But the speed with which the United States can send more migrants to wait in Mexico will still depend on how quickly the government follows through on that promise.

Taking this in its best possible light one could argue, I suppose, that Mexico was not implementing its previous agreements fast enough and that the threatened tariffs and negotiations spurred them to agree to accelerate progress on those areas. The peso, which had been pummeled in recent months on fears over a trade war, on Friday strengthened 0.5% after Trump tweeted that there was a "good chance" a deal would be reached with Mexico.

"No deal is done till it's done and announced", he added, bringing up the last-minute collapse of trade talks between the U.S. and China after Beijing backtracked on earlier commitments vis-a-vis security of intellectual property.


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