US, Mexico Seek to Ratify Pact Amid Trade and Border Tensions


By Latin America News Dispatch

Jun 4, 2019


REGIONAL: U.S., Mexican and Canadian officials began talks towards the ratification process of the new multilateral trade pact known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) this week. The negotiations are occurring with President Donald Trump’s threat to slap a five percent tariff on all goods coming into the U.S. from Mexico, and rising numbers of migrants crossing the southern border as a backdrop. Trump said that the tariff will “gradually increase until the migration problem is remedied.”


Yesterday, during a press conference in Washington, D.C., Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said that “punitive actions alone will not work” in decreasing migration from Central America. In an act of defiance, Congressional Republicans have begun discussing the possibility of blocking Trump’s proposed tariffs on Mexico.


U.S.-MEXICO BORDER: A federal judge has denied the House Democrats’ petition to block the construction of a segment of the border wall. Following a three-hour hearing earlier this month, Judge Trevor McFadden, appointed by the Trump administration, said yesterday that the court “declines to take sides between the House of Representatives and the President.” The lawsuit asked the court to stop the reprogramming $2.5 billion set to be given to counter-drug initiatives at the Department of Defense, $600 million from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund, and $3.6 billion in military construction funds to build the border wall.