President Donald Trump on Monday afternoon continued to tease an unannounced agreement between the US and Mexico, despite the Mexican Foreign Minister’s declaration that there was no secret or outstanding deal between the two nations.
“We have an agreement on something that they will announce very soon. It’s all done. They have to get approval,” Trump told reporters Monday at the White House, noting that the approval would come from Mexico’s legislative body.
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“They will get approval. If they don’t get approval, we’ll have to think in terms of tariffs,” he said.
Hours earlier, the President had tweeted, “We have fully signed and documented another very important part of the Immigration and Security deal with Mexico, one that the U.S. has been asking about getting for many years.”
In both cases, Trump did not offer details about what was contained in the alleged agreement.
Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard, one of the chief negotiators of the deal agreed to on Friday, suggested Monday that he was not aware of another deal.
“Aside from what I’ve explained there is no agreement of any kind, that has been made known,” he told reporters in Mexico City. “Everything I’ve been talking about was known since Friday.”
Asked about the existence of another agreement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was ambiguous.
“As for other agreements, there were a number of commitments made. I can’t go into them in detail here, but each side was committed to a set of outcomes,” he told reporters Monday.
After days of negotiations in Washington, DC, the United States and Mexico on Friday reached an agreement to avert Trump’s tariff threat. As part of the terms of the joint statement, Mexico will take “unprecedented steps” to increase enforcement to curb irregular migration, including the deployment of its National Guard throughout the country — giving priority to Mexico’s southern border — and individuals caught crossing into the US from Mexico seeking asylum will be “rapidly returned” to Mexico where they will await consideration of their asylum claims. The declaration also reiterates the countries’ commitment from last year, which emphasizes US support for development in Central America and southern Mexico.
However, both the US President and Secretary of State raised the prospect of tariffs again on Monday.
“We do not anticipate a problem with the vote but, if for any reason the approval is not forthcoming, Tariffs will be reinstated!” Trump tweeted about the alleged undisclosed deal. Pompeo noted that if sufficient headway is not made on the joint agreement, “there’s risk that those tariffs will go back in place.”
“And as we had these conversations … my counterpart Marcelo, we both understood that. It means that we’re got hard work to do over the coming days and weeks to deliver on those actual outcomes on the ground along our southern border,” Pompeo said, adding that they will evaluate whether progress has been made “literally daily.”
CNN’s Kevin Liptak and Claudia Dominguez contributed to this report.