It’s time to hand out a bit of credit where I believe it is due.
The Donald Trump administration has worked out an agreement with Mexico that aims to crack down on what’s been called “irregular migration” through Mexico into the United States.
The payoff is the suspension of a 5 percent tariff on all products imported from Mexico into this country. That, right there, is reason to cheer this result.
Mexico is going to send about 6,000 national guard troops to border entry points, concentrating on its border with Guatemala; it also is going to hold those seeking asylum in this country and start working to grant them such status in Mexico; the United States also will be able to return Central American migrants to Mexico while their asylum status is being adjudicated.
OK, it’s not the perfect solution. However, it remove for the immediate and medium-term future the threat of nonsensical tariffs that the president threatened to impose. Let’s get real: The tariffs do more damage to American consumers than to Mexican exporters, as the tariff only will add to the cost of goods coming into this country.
Trump sought to hold the tariff threat over Mexico. His tactic seems to have worked. Mexico sent its foreign minister to Washington to negotiate a deal with the State Department, Homeland Security and the White House.
How much direct involvement included the president himself, of course, remains a mystery. My hunch is that Trump didn’t play much of a role in the nuts and bolts of such an agreement.
Still, it happened on his watch. Now it’s up to Mexico to deliver on its pledge to act more proactively and aggressively to stop the flow of illegal migrants through its country and into this one.