AP

Mexico Denies Trump’s Claim Of Secret Concessions In Deal

Jun 10, 2019, 7:28 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:05 pm
(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Three days after U.S. President Donald Trump announced a deal with Mexico to stem the flow of migrants at the southern border, the two countries appear unable to agree on exactly what’s in it.

Stung by criticism that the agreement mostly ramps up border protection efforts already underway, Trump on Monday hinted at other, secret agreements he says will soon be revealed.

“We have fully signed and documented another very important part of the Immigration and Security deal with Mexico, one that the U.S. has been asking about getting for many years,” Trump wrote Monday, saying it would “be revealed in the not too distant future.”

Not so, said Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard, holding up a paper and pointing to the previously announced details. He told reporters the two countries agreed on two actions made public Friday and said if those measures didn’t work to slow migration, they would discuss further options.

“There is no other thing beyond what I have just explained,” he said.

The episode revealed the complicated political dynamics at play as Trump and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador tussle over who made out best in the agreement hashed out under Trump’s threat of new tariffs on Mexico. Trump appeared eager to declare his negotiation tactics successful, even as he tried to hype the deal with made-for-TV drama and invented measures, sparking questions and confusion. Mexico’s leaders showed they weren’t willing to play along.

The White House did not respond to inquiries about Trump’s tweets.

But the president appeared to be making a reference to talks over how Mexico handles Central American migrants who travel through the country to claim asylum in the U.S.

The Trump administration has been trying to pressure Mexico to enter into a “safe third country” agreement, which would deem Mexico a safe place for migrants and make it harder for asylum seekers who pass through the country to wait until they reach American soil to file a claim.

But the deal announced Friday made no mention of the issue.

A senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity to share details of closed-door talks, said Mexico had expressed openness to the idea during negotiations, and said the two countries would continue to discuss the issue over the coming months.

Mexico has been insistent that it has not agreed to the provision, which would require approval from local lawmakers.

Instead, Ebrard said during a press conference in Mexico City Monday, if the deal announced Friday does not begin to drive down migrant numbers in the next 45 days, officials will open up new discussions in which the U.S. will again push for the safe third country measure and Mexico will propose establishing a regional refuge system in conjunction with the United Nations and the governments of Guatemala, Panama and Brazil — three countries that are often starting points for migrants headed to the U.S.

“They wanted something else totally different … to be signed,” Ebrard said Monday. “But that is what there is here. There is no other thing.” As for Trump’s tweets hyping a secret measure? Ebrard said he’d provided a full account for transparency’s sake.

Mexico fears that being designated a safe third country would only add to the number of asylum applications it receives. Those numbers have climbed dramatically in recent years and the government has admitted it does not have the resources to keep up.

As a practical matter, Mexico would have difficulty integrating thousands of additional migrants into a barely growing economy, making them targets to expand the ranks of Mexican organized crime groups.

Over the weekend, Trump also claimed another new element of the deal, tweeting that Mexico had “AGREED TO IMMEDIATELY BEGIN BUYING LARGE QUANTITIES OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCT FROM OUR GREAT PATRIOT FARMERS!” The administration has yet to reveal the details of any such provision, and Mexican officials say no agreement on farm goods was reached as part of the talks.

Ebrard told reporters the talks had focused on migration, not commerce, and hypothesized that Trump was calculating an economic boost resulting from his decision not to implement the tariffs.

“We do not have a specific agreement on products of that nature,” he said.

Trump has spent the days since Friday’s announcement defending the scope of the deal.

That includes a commitment by Mexico to deploy its new National Guard to the country’s southern border with Guatemala — something the country already intended to do before Trump’s latest threat. It also includes an agreement to publicly support the expansion of a program under which some asylum seekers are returned to Mexico as they wait out their cases. U.S. officials had been working to expand the program, which has led to the return of about 11,000 to Mexico without Mexico’s public embrace.

Trump and other administration officials, however, say Mexico made major concessions and have credited his threat to slap a 5% tax on all Mexican goods if the country didn’t immediately agree to do more to stem the flow of Central American migrants across the U.S. southern border. Without the threat, Trump has insisted, Mexico never would have acted.

“It was all done because of the tariffs and because of the relationship that we have with Mexico,” he told reporters Monday, following a call-in interview with CNBC Monday morning in which he said officials had “talked about it for months and months and months,” but couldn’t reach agreement until the threat.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

AP

A worker rings up a customer at a cash register in a Walmart store on January 24, 2023 in Miami, Fl...
Paul Wiseman, Associated Press

US economy slowed but still grew at 2.9% rate last quarter

The U.S. economy expanded at a 2.9% annual pace from October through December, ending 2022 with momentum despite the pressure of high interest rates and widespread fears of a looming recession.
1 day ago
Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, tours a neighborhood in Kharkiv ...
Hanna Arhirova, Associated Press

Russian attacks on Ukraine reported; tank training to start

Ukrainian officials say Russia has launched a new wave of missile and self-exploding drone attacks on the country.
1 day ago
Chunli Zhao appears for his arraignment at San Mateo Superior court in Redwood City, Calif., on Wed...
Olga R. Rodriguez and Jocelyn Gecker, Associated Press

Suspect in Half Moon Bay farm killings faces 7 murder counts

A farmworker accused of killing seven people in shootings at two Northern California mushroom farms has been charged with seven counts of murder.
1 day ago
In an aerial view, San Francisco police officers and F.B.I. agents gather in front of the home of U...
Adam Beam, Associated Press

California judge orders release of footage of Pelosi attack

Footage of the attack on former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband will be released publicly.
1 day ago
Justin Bieber attends The 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion at Metropolita...
Associated Press

Justin Bieber sells rights to ‘Baby,’ rest of music catalog

Justin Bieber's record-breaking pop hits from "Baby" to "Sorry" are no longer his after the superstar sold the rights to all his early career music.
2 days ago
This diagram made available by NASA shows the estimated trajectory of asteroid 2023 BU, in red, aff...
Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer

Asteroid coming exceedingly close to Earth, but will miss

An asteroid the size of a delivery truck will whip past Earth on Thursday night, one of the closest encounters ever recorded.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Mexico Denies Trump’s Claim Of Secret Concessions In Deal