UPDATE: U.S-Mexico Joint Statement Added at bottom:
President Trump tweets that a signed deal has been reached between the U.S. and Mexico to stop the unlawful Central American migration that has created a crisis at the border:
According to the president details will come from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who, along with VP Mike Pence and Secretary Wilbur Ross, was central to the U.S. negotiating team.
The Mexican government of Lopez-Obrador was desperate to reach an agreement as U.S. companies had already begun rapid supply chain preparation to avoid the tariffs scheduled to begin on Monday. Think about the scale of international investment into Mexico, done with the sole purpose of gaining access to the U.S. market.
The tariff proposal not only put U.S. investments into play, but massive international investments would be impacted. [A recent example is a billion-dollar investment in a single BMW auto assembly plant by the German automaker] An already tenuous Mexican economy was likely to be crushed by the consequences of President Trump’s tariff schedule. [Unrecoverably crushed]
Mexico reported yesterday they moved 6,000 national guard to their Southern Border; and they also began arresting immigration activists previously identified as participating in an effort to aide migrants traveling through the country. However, even with that rapid action/reactionary approach by Mexico, President Trump was not impressed.
Additionally, according to Mexican officials and negotiators working to find a solution, the Mexican government has begun freezing the financial assets of immigration groups working to undermine immigration law. However, they refused to identify the international groups targets.
Given the strength of intent previously expressed by the U.S. delegation; an outcome of President Trump taking a zero-tolerance position [ie. POTUS Trump really, really wanted to put those punishing tariffs into place (see Ingraham interview)]; it is likely Mexico acquiesced to the majority of President Trump terms.
President Trump would not suspend the tariff plan unless there was a solid actionable plan of agreement…. ie. “Optimal Results“.
It will be interesting to read the details of the agreement; and even more interesting to see immediate and measurable results.
UPDATE: Here is the Joint U.S-Mexico Statement:
The United States and Mexico met this week to address the shared challenges of irregular migration, to include the entry of migrants into the United States in violation of U.S. law. Given the dramatic increase in migrants moving from Central America through Mexico to the United States, both countries recognize the vital importance of rapidly resolving the humanitarian emergency and security situation. The Governments of the United States and Mexico will work together to immediately implement a durable solution.
As a result of these discussions, the United States and Mexico commit to:
Mexican Enforcement Surge
Mexico will take unprecedented steps to increase enforcement to curb irregular migration, to include the deployment of its National Guard throughout Mexico, giving priority to its southern border. Mexico is also taking decisive action to dismantle human smuggling and trafficking organizations as well as their illicit financial and transportation networks. Additionally, the United States and Mexico commit to strengthen bilateral cooperation, including information sharing and coordinated actions to better protect and secure our common border.
Migrant Protection Protocols
The United States will immediately expand the implementation of the existing Migrant Protection Protocols across its entire Southern Border. This means that 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.
In response, Mexico will authorize the entrance of all of those individuals for humanitarian reasons, in compliance with its international obligations, while they await the adjudication of their asylum claims. Mexico will also offer jobs, healthcare and education according to its principles.
The United States commits to work to accelerate the adjudication of asylum claims and to conclude removal proceedings as expeditiously as possible.
Both parties also agree that, in the event the measures adopted do not have the expected results, they will take further actions. Therefore, the United States and Mexico will continue their discussions on the terms of additional understandings to address irregular migrant flows and asylum issues, to be completed and announced within 90 days, if necessary.
Ongoing Regional Strategy
The United States and Mexico reiterate their previous statement of December 18, 2018, that both countries recognize the strong links between promoting development and economic growth in southern Mexico and the success of promoting prosperity, good governance and security in Central America. The United States and Mexico welcome the Comprehensive Development Plan launched by the Government of Mexico in concert with the Governments of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to promote these goals. The United States and Mexico will lead in working with regional and international partners to build a more prosperous and secure Central America to address the underlying causes of migration, so that citizens of the region can build better lives for themselves and their families at home.
The tariffs are suspended pending a 90-day review of progress. Mexico will step-up border enforcement, migrant removal/relocation and target those groups and entities engaged in human smuggling. Additionally, they will retain those requesting asylum.
If the new Mexican enforcement proposal doesn’t work – tariffs come back.
If the history of Mexican duplicity is a guide, Nat/Sec tariffs are likely to return. However, President Trump has to give AMLO the opportunity to live-up to an actual agreement.