Trump ‘played arsonist and firefighter’ in tariff crisis

Democrats tried to play down Trump’s Mexican deal over migrants on Friday night by saying all that he did was fix a problem which he created.

Trump undermined his country’s leadership role by threatening to impose 5% tariff on all goods being imported from its friendly neighbour Mexico, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

He dropped the tariff threat only after Mexico agreed to take strong steps to arrest the flow of migrants from Central America into the US through the southern border.

Former congressman Beto O’Rourke tweeted that Trump first played the role of arsonist and then firefighter in the tariff crisis.

Media played down the significance of the deal.

A New York Times report,  citing officials, said the terms  of the agreement were approved months ago adding that it is not clear whether Trump accepted the deal to save his face and avert the political and economic impact of the punishing tariffs.

Republicans praised Trump for pressuring Mexico to take decisive action.

Trump wrote in one of tweets that everyone is excited about the new deal and hoped Mexico will work hard on immigration and increase imports of US agricultural products.

According to the deal, Mexico has promised to mobilise its forces to its border with Guatemala to stop the flow of migrants to the US and force asylum seekers to remain in Mexico during their immigration hearings.

Mexicans, especially manufacturers, were relieved as the deal averted a trade war.

Responding to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s call, MPs rallied at the US border on Saturday to celebrate the deal.

But many Mexicans doubt Trump’s intentions. They fear he may revive the tariff threat if Mexican troops fail to stop the flow of migrants to the US.

They also wonder how long their country can keep such a large number of asylum seekers waiting at the border.