President Donald Trump waved a folded sheet of paper at the White House on Tuesday, saying it was his secret agreement with Mexico – although he declined to reveal any details.
‘That’s the agreement that everybody says I don’t have,’ he said, refusing to unfold the page to show any text.
‘It’s a very simple agreement. This is one page,’ he added. ‘This is one page of a very long and very good agreement for both Mexico and the United States.’
President Trump waved a folded piece of paper at the White House and claimed it’s his secret agreement with Mexico
‘It’s right here,’ he told reporters
The agreement with Mexico
But he teased reporters at the White House: ‘So right here is the agreement. It’s very simple. It’s right here. And in here is everything you want to talk about. It’s done.’
What was really in Trump’s US-Mexico Agreement letter?
The letter, which had a letter head at the top and two signatures at the bottom, which could not be made out, was not revealed by President Trump.
But the lighting behind it when the president held it up revealed some of the words in the last three paragraphs:
For such an agreement to be part of a regional approach … processing of refugee status claims of migrants.
Mexico also commits to immediately begin examining domestic laws and regulations with a view to identifying any changes that may be necessary to bring into force and implementation such an agreement.
If the United States determines at its discretion and after consultation with Mexico, after 45 calendar days from the date of the issuance of the Joint Declaration, that the measures adopted by the government of Mexico … to the Joint Declaration have not sufficiently achieved results in addressing the flow of immigrants to the Southern border of the United States, the Government of Mexico will take all necessary steps under domestic law to bring the agreement … will enter into force within 45 days.
Trump has said his agreement with Mexico – made after he threatened to increase tariffs on its goods if the country didn’t stop illegal immigrants from crossing into the U.S. – has secret provisions that have not been revealed.
Mexico’s foreign minister said Monday that the deal doesn’t include any secret provisions.
The president has argued not all details in his agreement with Mexico to stop illegal immigrants from crossing the border have been released yet as his way of pushing back against a New York Times report that the details between the two countries had been worked out months ago.
‘We had nothing two weeks ago. Mexico told us absolutely, I don’t know where The Times got the story,’ Trump said Tuesday. ‘I think they probably got it the probably from somebody who worked here and said how well they were doing. For a long time, for many years, people tried to get what we got in a period of a couple of days, and they couldn’t get it. That’s the difference. They couldn’t get it.’
He continued to hammer the point that until recently there was no arrangement with Mexico.
‘Two weeks ago, I’ll tell you what we had. We had nothing, and the reason we had nothing is because Mexico felt they didn’t have to give us anything. I don’t blame them, but this is actually ultimately going to be good for Mexico, too, and it’s good for the relationship of Mexico with us,’ he said.
He said the agreement that he waved around would go into affect at his discretion.
‘This will go into effect, and it’s my option. It’s not Mexico’s, but it will go into effect when Mexico tells me it’s okay to release it,’ he said of the piece of paper.
He also warned Mexico he would put his threat of tariffs into place if they did not decrease the number of illegal immigrants crossing the border.
‘If they bring the numbers way down, we won’t have to use it. Okay? If they bring the numbers way down, we won’t have to, but this is my option,’ he said.
President Trump declined to say if Mexico, as part of their agreement with his administration, will become a safe third country for asylum seekers.
‘I don’t want to say and you can just figure it out yourselves. A lot of people are saying that – good luck. I’m not going to say one way or another,’ he said.
A close up of Trump’s agreement with Mexico
Trump said he would release the details when Mexico gave the okay
He called it a ‘simple’ agreement that was good for everyone
The Wall Street Journal reported that Mexico has promised that if it can’t adequately stem the tide of migrants flowing to the north, it will agree to implement a ‘regional’ system that requires Central Americans to apply for asylum in the first ‘safe’ country they enter.
Washington wants Mexico to be declared a safe third country in which asylum seekers would have to seek safe harbor instead of the United States, a demand Mexico has rejected in the past.
Mexican foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard has gradually announced more commitments his country made to stave off Trump’s threat of tariffs, noting Tuesday Mexico must improve its border infrastructure with Guatemala as part of the agreement.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi got in a shot at Trump’s negotiations with Mexico during a talk at the Peterson Foundation Tuesday.
‘Even now, the foreign minister of Mexico is saying that’s not really the way the president describes is not really the way what we have agreed to,’ she said.
Last month Trump threatened he would impose a 5 per cent tariff on Mexican imports if the country didn’t assist in stopping Central American migrants from flowing into the U.S. illegally.
He said the tax on those goods would increase each month the problem persisted until October, when it would cap at 25 per cent.
Trump declined to show the agreement to reporters at the White House
Mexican foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard has gradually announced more details of the deal
The tariff would have been imposed Monday, but Trump said he reached a deal with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador for the nation to assist.
The deal, in part, according to a joint declaration issued Friday after a meeting between Trump and Lopez Obrador, said Mexico agreed to deploy ‘its National Guard throughout Mexico, giving priority to its southern border.’
After Trump and Lopez Obrador put out the joint statement, The New York Times published its article claiming the deal was reached months ago.
The president called the story ‘fake news’ and insisted the deal was brand new.