Earlier this week, President Donald Trump appeared outside the White House waving a folded up piece of paper that he claimed was “the agreement [with Mexico] that everybody says I don’t have.” Well, now we can see the terms of the deal, and they are not what Trump claimed.
The prior weekend, Trump had triumphantly said that Mexico agreed to deploy its national guard to curb immigration across its borders and agreed to buy “large quantities of agricultural product” from the United States. But the joint statement sent out by the State Department did not mention trade, and the Mexican ambassador to the U.S. dodged a question about trade in an interview last Sunday. And, in an interview that week, White House Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney claimed the public may never see the terms of the deal.
This skepticism is likely what prompted the president to go in front of the cameras waving around a piece of paper he claimed was a “supplement” to the deal but refused to disclose the terms of said deal. On Friday, though, the Mexican government released a copy of the agreement, shared by Bloomberg’s Mexico bureau chief Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, and—surprise, surprise—trade is not mentioned at all, nor are the tariffs Trump kept threatening.
— Carlos Manuel Rodríguez (@carlos_rgz) June 14, 2019
In effect, the deal is really an agreement to continue talks between both nations and essentially reflects the terms laid out in the original joint statement: Mexico will deploy its national guard, focusing on its southern border, and migrants seeking asylum will return to Mexico to await the United States’ decision whether they will be granted asylum. And, as was reported, the terms of this deal were largely agreed upon months ago, despite Trump’s attempts to make it appear that they only just reached a deal a week ago under threat of tariffs.
The agreement also states that if, in 45 days, the U.S. decides these measures “have not sufficiently achieved results in addressing the flow of migrants to the southern border,” then Mexico will take “all necessary steps” to “bring the agreement into force… within 45 days.”
It’s just one more example of how Trump manufactures a crisis, makes escalating threats, and then “solves” the crisis that didn’t ever exist in the first place. All to make himself look like the conquering hero.