Trump Claims Mexico Agreed To Purchase “Large Quantities” Of U.S. Crops, Mexican Government Says It Did Not
President Donald Trump made misleading claims on Sunday that implied Mexico had agreed to purchase large quantities of American agricultural goods. In a series of tweets, the president said that as a part of ongoing negotiations between the United States and Mexico, America’s southern neighbor was going to be buying sizable numbers of domestic crops.
Mexican officials said on Saturday that agricultural trade had not been discussed during the three-day trade summit in Washington and that they were not aware of any side deal being discussed. Mexico’s ambassador to the United States predicted that if tariffs were not put into place, and if the United States-Mexico-Canda Agreement, the trilateral free trade agreement meant to replace NAFTA, was signed, then agricultural trade between the U.S. and Mexico could increase significantly. However, the ambassador didn’t mention any specific deal with America in the works. Additionally, the joint communique between Mexico and the U.S. issued by the State Department on Friday also made no mention of agricultural trade as part of the agreement between the two nations.
Nevertheless, Trump took to Twitter to proclaim, in all caps, that Mexico was indeed going to be purchasing a large number of American goods.
MEXICO HAS AGREED TO IMMEDIATELY BEGIN BUYING LARGE QUANTITIES OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCT FROM OUR GREAT PATRIOT FARMERS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 8, 2019
The president’s comments came just as the United States and Mexico finished negotiations to prevent Trump from placing tariffs on the Spanish speaking nation. For the past week, the president had been threatening Mexico with trade barriers if the country didn’t crack down on illegal immigration into the United States. The proposed tariffs proved widely unpopular domestically, with wide bipartisan support against their implementation.
The two countries entered into negotiations last week in order to avoid the tariffs altogether and repair relations between Mexico and America. While the main topic of the summit was immigration and border control, the president began to claim that agriculture was also on the table as early as Friday, with a tweet that promised Mexican purchases of American goods. While the two nations were able to come to an agreement regarding immigration, there has been no official mention of any agricultural deals other than Trump’s insistent tweets.
If we are able to make the deal with Mexico, & there is a good chance that we will, they will begin purchasing Farm & Agricultural products at very high levels, starting immediately. If we are unable to make the deal, Mexico will begin paying Tariffs at the 5% level on Monday!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 7, 2019