Mexico cut a deal with President Donald Trump’s administration on Friday, bowing to economic pressure and promising to do everything in their power to stop the seemingly endless flood of immigrants, pouring illegally over the unsecured border.
In a deal that works out as a win for both sides, Mexico agreed to send it’s National Guard to their southern border with Guatemala to prevent migrants from heading further north. They also agreed that asylum seekers will remain on the Mexico side of the U.S. border while they wait for approval.
In return, the Trump administration agreed to indefinitely suspend the threatened escalating tariffs and also to back down on having Mexico officially labeled as a “safe third country,” which would have “forced it to permanently take in most Central American asylum seekers.”
Another point that American negotiators conceded was an agreement not to transport Guatemalans to Mexico when they are deported.
Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s Foreign Minister, was happy with the arrangements.
“I think it’s a fair balance because they had more drastic measures and proposals at the start and we reached some middle point.”
A joint statement was released by the U.S. State Department. As reported by CBC News:
“The U.S. ‘will immediately expand’ a program that returns asylum-seekers, while their claims are under review, to Mexico, after they have crossed the U.S. – Mexico border. Mexico will ‘offer jobs, health care and education’ to those people.”
In return, Mexico promised to take “unprecedented steps to increase enforcement to curb irregular migration.”
The move also goes a long way toward advancing the revised North American trade deal between the United States, Mexico and Canada, generally referred to as USMCA.
Mexico’s deputy foreign minister for North America went on Twitter to tell the public, the agreement on migration indicates the USMCA ratification process is now “stronger than ever.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin praised the deal while pointing out the tariffs can still snap back into place if Mexico does not live up to their side of the bargain.
“Our expectation is that Mexico will do what they’ve committed to do and our expectation is that we won’t need to put tariffs in place, but obviously if that’s not the case, the president retains that authority.”
Speaking to reporters during a break at the G20 finance meeting in Japan, Mnuchin continued:
“We now have an agreement that we believe is going to fix the immigration issue and that was extremely important to the president.”
Now that the public has seen how effective tariffs can be to leverage economic cooperation, perhaps a similar deal with China is on the horizon.