President Donald Trump is bragging about a new deal with Mexico that provides for “large” sales of U.S. farm goods, but it doesn’t appear to exist.
In weekend tweets, he announced in all capital letters that he had won the agreement to benefit America’s “great patriot farmers,” and that U.S. sales would begin “immediately.” There isn’t any sign of that happening, however. Mexican officials denied that anything on agriculture was included in the deal on border security reached Friday to avert Trump’s threatened tariffs.
Trump also unfairly placed responsibility on Mexico for the entire U.S. drug problem, even though many of the known drug deaths have nothing to do with the country.
The statements came in a week where the apportioning of credit and blame often went awry in Trump’s remarks.
He hailed pristine air quality that isn’t, wrongly insisted that the U.S. was paying “close to 100%” of NATO and told Puerto Ricans they should love him because he got them hurricane aid that he’s actually been complaining about for months.
In the Democratic presidential campaign, meantime, Trump was accused of breaking a gun-control promise that in reality he kept.
A look at recent claims and reality:
TRUMP: “MEXICO HAS AGREED TO IMMEDIATELY BEGIN BUYING LARGE QUANTITIES OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCT FROM OUR GREAT PATRIOT FARMERS!” — tweet Saturday, retweeted Sunday.
THE FACTS: There’s no evidence that Mexico agreed to “large” purchases of agricultural products from the U.S. as part of the deal to avoid tariffs. Nor did the White House provide any details to show such a deal exists.
The joint declaration between the U.S. and Mexico released by the State Department late Friday makes no mention of agriculture. Officials from Mexico deny an agreement was reached on farm goods as part of the talks.
“Everything that was negotiated was in the joint statement,” said a Mexican official familiar with the discussions who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. When Mexico’s ambassador to the United States, Martha Barcena, was asked repeatedly Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation” whether there was a new agricultural deal, she demurred, saying such trade between both countries should increase over time.
She referenced instead the potential impact of the separate United States-Mexico-Canada trade deal, which has yet to be approved by Congress.
“Is trade on agricultural products going to grow? Yes, it is going to grow, and it is going to grow without tariffs and with USMCA ratification,” Barcena said.
According to the office of the United States Trade Representative, Mexico bought $20 billion in U.S. agricultural goods last year, making it the United States’ second-largest ag export market.