In this file:
· Trump calls off tariff threat after agreement is reached
· Mexican Ambassador to U.S. Admits No Specific Deal Made with Trump to Buy More American Agricultural Products
· Trump defends Mexico migration deal and pledges more detail
Trump calls off tariff threat after agreement is reached
By Ken Anderson, Brownfield
June 8, 2019
Many in the ag community are breathing a sigh of relief this weekend after U.S. and Mexico negotiators reached an agreement on immigration issues and President Trump said his plan to begin imposing tariffs on Mexico on Monday was “indefinitely suspended”.
In a Saturday morning tweet, Trump once again made reference to agriculture, saying “Mexico has agreed to immediately begin buying large quantities of agricultural products from our great patriot farmers!” But he offered no further details on what that might mean...
Mexican Ambassador to U.S. Admits No Specific Deal Made with Trump to Buy More American Agricultural Products
By Chris Morran, Newsweek
When President Donald Trump announced Friday that his administration had reached a deal with Mexican officials to forestall his threat of tariffs on imports from Mexico in exchange for more cooperation in curbing migration, the president claimed that our neighbors to the south had agreed to purchase more American agricultural products. However, Mexico's ambassador to the U.S. admitted Sunday that no such specific deal had been reached.
Trump tweeted over the weekend that "Mexico has agreed to immediately begin buying large quantities of agricultural product from our great patriot farmers!" However, critics noted that there was no mention of any such arrangement in the joint declaration issued Friday night by Mexico and the U.S., and no one in the administration had provided specifics on this supposed deal.
Ambassador Martha Bárcena appeared on CBS News' Face the Nation Sunday where host Margaret Brennan pressed the diplomat on Trump's claim.
When asked directly if there was any specific agreement by the Mexican government to buy additional U.S. agricultural products, Bárcena did what diplomats do best — answer a question she wasn't asked.
"It is our understanding that without tariffs and with USMCA ratification there will be an increased rate both in agricultural products and manufactured products," said the ambassador, referring to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a new North American trade agreement that is currently waiting for congressional approval.
"But none of that was actually agreed to as part of this negotiation," noted Brennan. "Because the president's been tweeting, saying that Mexico agreed to buy all sorts of agricultural products."
Again, the ambassador attempted to side-step the question.
"What I would say is that, even now, we are the second buyer of the U.S. in grains and meat," began Bárcena. "We have an integrated economy in the agricultural sector. We export fruit and vegetables to the U.S., also contributing to a healthier diet in the U.S., and we buy basically grains and meat... So what we are expecting without the tariffs is that there will be an increase. You have to remember that last year we were the third trade partner; we are now the first so we are your most important market and you are our most important market. Is trade on agricultural products going to grow? Yes, it is going to grow and it is going to grow without tariffs and with USMCA ratification."
Brennan tried for a third time to get a clear answer from the diplomat: "But there was no transaction that was signed off on as part of this deal is what I understand you're saying. You're talking about trade."
A visibly reluctant Bárcena replied, "I'm talking about trade and I am absolutely certain that the trade in agricultural goods will increase dramatically in the next few months."
Earlier in the interview, Bárcena was more specific about what is expected from Mexico in terms of curbing migration.
"We will deploy a national guard on Monday," she said...
Trump defends Mexico migration deal and pledges more detail
Lesley Wroughton & Doina Chiacu, Reuters
June 9, 2019
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump defended his administration’s deal with Mexico against criticism that there were no major new commitments to stem a flow of Central American migrants crossing into the United States, and said on Sunday more details would soon be released.
Key aspects of the agreement are still unclear, including whether Mexico has pledged to buy more U.S. agricultural products and if the deal materially expanded a previous commitment by Mexico to more vigorously police its southern border with Guatemala.
Top Democratic senators said many aspects of the deal were not new, while the Mexican ambassador to the United States declined to confirm whether it contained any commitments on agricultural goods.
The deal, announced on Friday after three days of talks in Washington, averted Trump’s threatened imposition of 5% import tariffs on all Mexican goods that had been due to start on Monday unless Mexico committed to do more to help reduce an increase in migrants arriving at the U.S. southern border.
“Mexico was not being cooperative on the Border...and now I have full confidence, especially after speaking to their President yesterday, that they will be very cooperative and want to get the job properly done,” Trump said on Twitter.
“Importantly, some things not mentioned in yesterday press release, one in particular, were agreed upon. That will be announced at the appropriate time,” he added.
Trump did not elaborate and the White House and State Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Friday’s joint communique broadly sketched the terms of the agreement, but contained few details.
The Mexican peso jumped against the dollar in Asian markets and U.S. equity futures rose on Sunday following the deal.
The agreement expedites a program known as the Migration Protection Protocols that was announced in December. That program sends migrants seeking asylum in the United States to wait in Mexico while their cases are being processed.
Friday’s agreement would see the United States immediately expand the implementation of the MPP across its entire 2,000-mile (3,220-km) southern border, the State Department said on Friday.
But as of Sunday night, U.S.-bound asylum seekers were not yet being sent back to additional Mexican border towns, three Mexican officials said.
Officials in the Mexican border states of Sonora, south of the U.S. states of Arizona and New Mexico, and Tamaulipas, south of Texas, said they were unaware of plans to expand the number of border crossings where the asylum seekers must be returned to Mexican territory to await processing.
The deal will also see Mexico deploy the National Guard police force to its southern border, where many Central American migrants enter Mexico.
UNCERTAINTY OVER AGRICULTURE ...