With Meghna Chakrabarti
The United States and Mexico struck a last-minute deal on immigration to avoid a 5% tax on all Mexican goods that President Trump had threatened to impose. We look at what’s happening on both sides of the border.
Jill Colvin, White House reporter for The Associated Press. (@colvinj)
Rafael Fernández de Castro, director of the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego. Foreign policy adviser to Mexican President Felipe Calderón from 2008 until 2011. Author of “The United States and Mexico: Between Partnership and Conflict.” (@RafaelFdeC)
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Associated Press: “Trump still hangs tariff threat over Mexico amid questions over how much of last-minute deal is really new” — “President Donald Trump on Sunday dangled the prospect of renewing his tariff threat against Mexico if the U.S. ally doesn’t cooperate on border issues, while some of his Democratic challengers for the White House said the last-minute deal to avert trade penalties was overblown.
“In a series of tweets, Trump defended the agreement heading off the 5% tax on all Mexican goods that he had threatened to impose Monday, but he warned Mexico that, ‘if for some unknown reason’ cooperation fails, ‘we can always go back to our previous, very profitable, position of Tariffs.’
“Still, he said he didn’t believe that would be necessary.
“The tweets came amid questions about just how much of the deal — announced with great fanfare Friday — was really new. It included a commitment from Mexico, for instance, to deploy its new National Guard to the country’s southern border with Guatemala. Mexico, however, had already intended to do that before Trump’s latest threat and had made that clear to U.S. officials. Mexican officials have described their commitment as an accelerated deployment.”
Politico: “Mexico threat isn’t over” — “President Donald Trump backed off his threat to slap tariffs on all Mexican imports largely for promises the Mexicans already made and for agricultural purchases that appear to be a fabrication. He also suggested there was a secret addition to the agreement that would be announced later.
“That Trump defused the crisis he created is good news for stocks and the economy. But in announcing the reprieve, Trump also suggested he could go back to tariffs at any time. And there’s a real possibility Trump gets mad again if monthly border crossing numbers don’t go done quickly, which they may not.
“And as the Eurasia Group notes, Trump ‘has already demonstrated resolve and willingness to buck economic considerations and conventional tactics in pursuit of political gain.’ That’s a way of saying he’s made permanent uncertainty great again.”
New York Times: “Opinion: Trump’s Bullying Won’t Fix the Migrant Crisis” — “Angelica Lopez crouched beside the freight train tracks that run through this sweltering city in southern Mexico, coddling her 2-year-old daughter, calling to her 7-year-old son not to stray too far from her. After they were stopped by Mexican federal police officers while attempting to board a cargo train, they’d slept on the mud, watching out for more police. They hoped to get on the next train north.
“Going back to her home in Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras, is not an option, Ms. Lopez, who is 23 and a single mother, told me. Two weeks ago, she explained, gang members came to her house to demand that she and her cousin become girlfriends of the gun-toting thugs. Shocked and terrified, they ran north, crossing first the border into Guatemala and then the Suchiate River into Mexico.
“Sitting among other migrants scattered around the tracks, the two young women told me they were unsure of their plans: They did not know how to apply for asylum, and had very little money to fund their journey. ‘We are taking this day by day, hoping God will guide us,’ Ms. Lopez said.
“When I spoke to them, they hadn’t heard of President Trump’s threats to increase tariffs on Mexico’s goods if the country didn’t stop migrants from reaching the American border. They had no idea that their personal tragedies had become a bargaining chip in negotiations that threatened to wreak economic havoc in Mexico and to drive up prices in the United States.”
Brian Hardzinski produced this hour for broadcast.
This article was originally published on WBUR.org.