Economy

Mexico Deal Could be Nixed, Tariffs Reinstated, if Migration Doesn't Slow

Mexico Deal Could be Nixed, Tariffs Reinstated, if Migration Doesn't Slow

Stew Leonard's Supermarket Stores CEO weighs in on the impact a tariff hike on Mexico would have on American goods.

Trump said he was going to slap steadily escalating tariffs on Mexico unless it did more to help with the border crisis, a threat with huge downside risks. The deal at least makes it possible, though, for us to prevent Central American family units from automatically gaining entry into the country, and thus it significantly reduces the incentive for a future flow of migrants.

This plan had already been partly announced Mexican Foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard on Monday. The Post called Mexico's promises "unprecedented" and the measures "more substantial" than promises made by Mexican officials in the past.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said Monday that the two leaders will also discuss ways to strengthen the Washington-Seoul alliance. Mexican government documents said it was "the first time in recent history that Mexico has chose to take operational control of its southern border as a priority".

But the Times' story published Saturday reported that the Mexican government had already pledged to deploy its guard to the border in March during talks with former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. "I haven't heard that he is not", Trump said.

"We told them - I think it was the most important achievement of the negotiations - "let's set a time period to see if what Mexico is proposing will work, and if not, we'll sit down and see what additional measures" are needed, he said.

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President Trump declined to say if Mexico, as part of their agreement with his administration, will become a safe third country for asylum seekers. Mexico, however, had already meant to do that before Trump's latest threat and had made that clear to USA officials. President Trump also claimed that Mexico will "immediately" start buying more US-made farm products. Asylum seekers who cross into the US will be quickly returned to Mexico where they'll wait for their claims to be resolved; the USA agreed to accelerate adjudication. "If they don't get approval, we'll have to think in terms of tariffs". "If we have to participate in a regional model like the one I have just described, we would have to present that to Congress".

But moments later he called the side agreement "my option".

U.S. President Donald Trump brandished a document on Tuesday confirming details of a regional asylum project agreed with Mexico to stave off threatened tariffs, saying the plan was "secret" even though Mexican officials had revealed much of it.

In a pair of tweets Monday morning, Trump claimed that Mexico had agreed to action beyond what was outlined in the Friday announcement, teasing that more would be revealed soon.

"We do not anticipate a problem with the vote", he added, "but, if for any reason the approval is not forthcoming, Tariffs will be reinstated!"

For now, the deal ends plans by the Trump administration to slap a 5 percent tariff on all goods coming into the USA from Mexico - something that had sparked fears from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress about the possible economic fallout from such a move. The tariffs were slated to go into effect Monday and continue to increase each month, reaching 25 percent by October 1, 2019.