President Trump is defending his deal with Mexico after calling off threats of tariffs in exchange for more assistance from the country in keeping migrants from crossing the southern border into the United States. But the president is not backing down from his initial threat, warning that should the deal not receive support in a vote from Mexican leadership, he'll go right back to tariffs.
Mr. Trump tweeted early Monday morning the U.S. had "fully signed and documented another very important part of the Immigration and Security deal with Mexico." The president teased further details of the deal would be "revealed in the not too distant future" pending a vote by Mexico's legislative body.
"We do not anticipate a problem with the vote but, if for any reason the approval is not forthcoming, Tariffs will be reinstated!" he added. His comments come after days of lengthy negotiations between Mexican and U.S. trade negotiators yielded a deal to stop the tariffs on Mexican goods from going into effect Monday.
Meanwhile, Mexico has agreed to accelerate its national guard presence on the southern border starting Monday. It's also agreed to expand a program requiring asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while their claims are being processed. The administration claims those stipulations are all new, but former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had announced that asylum plan last December.
In addition, Mr. Trump claimed that Mexico has agreed to buy American farm goods, a suggestion Mexico's ambassador to the U.S. neither confirmed or denied during an.
"It is our understanding that without tariffs and with USMCA ratification, there will be an increased rate, both in agricultural products and manufacturing products," Martha Bárcena Coqui said.
Both governments have imposed a 90-day window to see if the measures are effective at tempering concerns along the border.
Mr. Trump also responded to criticism of his free-wheeling approach to tariffs, calling into CNBC to defend himself against Chamber of Commerce's executive vice president and head of international affairs, Myron Brilliant who told the network the president was "weaponizing" tariffs.
"The increase of threats on our economy, on our farmers, on our manufacturers, our consumers, is going to hurt our country. It also creates uncertainty with our trading partners," said Brilliant.
Mr. Trump responded to Brilliant: "He's not protecting our country."