Speed Reads

Trump trade tweets

Officials carefully shrug off Trump's claim that Mexico agreed to buy more U.S. agricultural goods

President Trump, apparently irked at reporting that his tariff-averting immigration deal with Mexico was much less than touted, tweeted Sunday that along with the publicly released parts of the deal, "some things not mentioned in yesterday press release, one in particular, were agreed upon. That will be announced at the appropriate time." Trump "did not elaborate on what secret provisions he was referring to, and the White House did not respond to requests for clarification on Sunday," The New York Times reports.

On Fox News Sunday, acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said "there are going to be further actions, further dialogue with Mexico in immigration, on how to manage the asylum flow in the region." Martha Bárcena Coqui, Mexico's ambassador to the U.S., was similarly vague, saying on CBS's Face the Nation, "I think there are a lot of the details that we discussed during the negotiations and during the conversations that we didn't put in the declaration because this is different — different paths that we are to follow." But Trump did tweet, and retweet, one specific purported concession on Saturday.

Ken Smith Ramos, a former Mexican trade official, called Trump's tweet "a bit strange," since NAFTA precludes tariffs on nearly all agricultural products between the U.S. and Mexico, and Mexico is a free-market economy where private buyers, not the government, decide what to purchase and from where. On Face the Nation, Bárcena said only that agricultural trade "is going to grow without tariffs" and with ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), or NAFTA 2.0. "I'm talking about trade," not a deal, she clarified, adding on Twitter that she "did not contradict" Trump.

Smith Ramos, who negotiated MSMCA for Mexico, told Politico that Mexican officials are "just trying to say anything to come out of the mess."