At the end of May, President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on Mexican imports if our southern neighbor did not do more to stop the surge of migrants headed towards our border.

It looks like it worked because Trump announced on Friday that he has dropped the tariffs as America and Mexico reached a deal.

I noted in my May 31st blog that Trump is a businessman. He asks for the moon and negotiates downward. We all do that when we want to make big purchases like a home or car.

It works.

The State Department released the U.S.-Mexico Joint Declaration last night. You can read it here.

From The Wall Street Journal:

A joint statement released by both countries late Friday said that Mexico agreed to increase enforcement to curb irregular migration, including deployment of its newly created National Guard throughout the country, with a focus on its southern border with Guatemala. On Thursday night, Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said it would deploy up to 6,000 National Guard troops.

The U.S., meanwhile, said it would immediately expand the implementation of the existing “Migrant Protection Protocols” across its entire southern border, returning asylum seekers to Mexico.

“Those crossing the U.S. Southern Border to seek asylum will be rapidly returned to Mexico where they may await the adjudication of their asylum claims,” the statement said, adding that Mexico will authorize the entrance of all of those individuals for humanitarian reasons.

I searched for more details of the deal, but cannot find them. The Wall Street Journal reported that America and Mexico “agreed to finalize the terms of additional provisions within 90 days.”

Both sides worked nonstop the past week while Trump visited the United Kingdom. The Mexican delegation began their days early at the State Department with meetings not ending until late in the evening. These meetings included Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo along with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan.

I figured the tariff threat would work with Mexico because we do not have a trade deficit with them as we do with China. We are Mexico’s largest trading partner as we take in 80% of Mexican exports.

Besides the auto industry, the tariffs would have affected other industries. CBS News reported on May 31:

Other products that the U.S. imports from Mexico include electrical machinery, at $64 billion in imports, and agricultural imports, at $26 billion. Mexico is the largest agricultural supplier to the U.S.

The costs to consumers could be considerable, with Raymond James estimating that U.S. businesses and consumers would shell out $86 billion in tariffs. That’s on top of $62.5 billion in tariffs placed on Chinese goods by the Trump administration, which will go into effect on June 1 Beijing time.

The apparel industry decried the Mexico tariffs, saying it represents “another tax for Americans.” Mr. Trump has continuously misrepresented who pays tariffs, falsely stating that China pays the tariffs. In fact, U.S. importers — businesses like Walmart and Costco — pay the tariffs, with many retailers warning they will need to pass on the costs to consumers by raising prices.

While the left sarcastically applauded the news, they forget that immigration has become a real problem not only for our border but also for the border towns in Mexico:

“Potentially, there are tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Central Americans being sent back to Mexico and a vague commitment to speed up the asylum process,” said Andrew Selee, president of the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute. He said the agreement could potentially have major repercussions for Mexican border communities if they are flooded with thousands of asylum seekers.

In return, Mexico got the U.S. to agree to work together to address the root causes of the region’s explosion in migration. And it turned back U.S. suggestions that Mexico become a so-called Safe Third Country, where migrants would be forced to apply for asylum in Mexico instead of the U.S.

“Bottom line is Mexico has to keep asylum seekers temporarily but not permanently,” said Shannon O’Neil senior fellow for Latin American Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. “The rest are vague generalities to be rehashed at the end of the summer. Much ado about nothing.”

I think the Democrats are mad because Trump has taken steps to tackle the immigration problem the best he can while they failed to do anything about it when they had the majority in Congress and White House.

Maybe instead of obsessing over Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, Congress should work on immigration reform.

 
 
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