Whole Lotta Nothin’: Trump’s Secret Trade Deal With Mexico
“Weird, nothing on Mexico Mish?” was one such comment from yesterday.
There is really not much to this success story as I pointed out on June 8 in Trump Declares Victory in Staged Mexico Crisis.
However, since readers insist, let’s tie up some loose ends with an investigation of allegedly secret details as well as outright lies.
Secret Deal Exposed
The prior weekend, Trump had triumphantly said that Mexico agreed to deploy its national guard to curb immigration across its borders and agreed to buy “large quantities of agricultural product” from the United States. But the joint statement sent out by the State Department did not mention trade, and the Mexican ambassador to the U.S. dodged a question about trade in an interview last Sunday. And, in an interview that week, White House Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney claimed the public may never see the terms of the deal.
This skepticism is likely what prompted the president to go in front of the cameras waving around a piece of paper he claimed was a “supplement” to the deal but refused to disclose the terms of said deal. On Friday, though, the Mexican government released a copy of the agreement, shared by Bloomberg’s Mexico bureau chief Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, and—surprise, surprise—trade is not mentioned at all, nor are the tariffs Trump kept threatening.
In effect, the deal is really an agreement to continue talks between both nations and essentially reflects the terms laid out in the original joint statement: Mexico will deploy its national guard, focusing on its southern border, and migrants seeking asylum will return to Mexico to await the United States’ decision whether they will be granted asylum. And, as was reported, the terms of this deal were largely agreed upon months ago, despite Trump’s attempts to make it appear that they only just reached a deal a week ago under threat of tariffs.
Rolling Stone vs Ned Price
- Rolling Stone: “It’s just one more example of how Trump manufactures a crisis, makes escalating threats, and then “solves” the crisis that didn’t ever exist in the first place. All to make himself look like the conquering hero.”
- Ned Price: See above Tweet
One might wonder if the Stone copied Price, but the whole thing is so obvious that the likely explanation is more than one person figured out the obvious.
That’s your alleged “secret deal”.
What About Corn?
That was the lie of the day on June 8 that I did fail to mention. Let’s now investigate that claim.
Mexico Denies Claim
Oops No Corn
Flashback June 9: Bloomberg reports Mexico Doesn’t Back Up Trump’s Twitter Claims of Big Farm Deal
“Some things not mentioned in yesterday’s press release, one in particular, were agreed on. That will be announced at the appropriate time,” Trump said Sunday [June 9] in a series of four tweets about Mexico, the media and other matters.
Those “secrets” are now on full display so let’s continue with a discussion of the blatant lie.
Back to Bloomberg
Increasing Mexico’s purchases from the U.S. beyond current levels wasn’t discussed during the Washington talks, said the three people with knowledge of the deliberations who weren’t authorized to speak publicly.
Mexico has no state-owned agricultural conglomerate to buy food products or handle distribution, or a government program that could buy farm equipment for delivery to producers.
Mexican Ambassador on Face the Nation
The Mexican ambassador would not confirm there was anything in the “secret deal” backing up Trump’s claim.
Why Secrets are Secrets
There is a simple reason Trump wanted to keep this all a secret:
It’s a Whole Lotta Nothin’
When the deal is all smoke, mirrors, and lies, of course you want to keep it all a big mysterious secret.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock