TheNew York Times reports that the border security deal between Mexico and the Trump Administration was not an eleventh hour deal as previously reported. Instead, the Times reports that Mexico had made the concessions in discussions over the past several months.
Per the Times report by Michael Shear and Maggie Haberman, officials from both countries have confirmed that the major concessions made by Mexico were made long before President Trump’s threat to implement tariffs. Specifically, the commitment to deploy troops to the Guatemala border was made in March and the agreement to detain asylum-seekers in Mexico was reached in December 2018.
Over the past week, negotiations to establish a “safe third country” treaty failed, the report notes. This agreement would have allowed the US to reject asylum-seekers who had not first sought refuge in Mexico.
A senior US official said that recent talks had yielded some small additional concessions from the Mexican government. The 6,000 troops in the new agreement represented a larger force than the original commitment. Mexico also agreed to an expedited timetable for the asylum program.
Separately, Bloomberg reported that there was no deal for Mexico to buy additional US agricultural products as Mr. Trump claimed in a tweet. The State Department summary of the border deal made no mention of agriculture and Mexico has no state-controlled agricultural entity that would food from American farmers. Individual Mexican companies already import some farm products from the US.
“It was unclear whether Mr. Trump believed that the agreement truly represented new and broader concessions,” the Times writers note, “Or whether the president understood the limits of the deal but accepted it as a face-saving way to escape from the political and economic consequences of imposing tariffs on Mexico, which he began threatening less than two weeks ago.”