Business leaders, financial markets, the American consumer, even many Republican politicians – plenty will be breathing a sigh of relief that a trade war between the US and Mexico has been averted.
The alarm bells were ringing increasingly loudly as Monday’s deadline loomed, when the first of a sliding scale of tariffs were due to be imposed by Washington.
For a relationship worth billions, economic catastrophe was predicted.
But Donald Trump can now claim that the threat – one that emerged out of the blue and against the advice of many in his administration – not only brought Mexico to the negotiating table but forced them to take urgent action to stem the flow of migrants from Central America up to the US border.
The numbers arriving have increased sharply in recent weeks, a situation Trump has described as a national emergency.
For a president who campaigned on controlling the border – but who has not been able to deliver that wall he promised – it called for drastic action.
And whatever anyone thinks of the Trump tactic of threatening economic punishment in exchange for diplomatic action, Trump will see this as a big win.
He will point to the thousands of Mexican troops heading to the country’s southern border and tell critics: “There, I told you so.” His loyal following will lap it up.
His claim that it might eliminate illegal migration from Mexico into the US altogether might be premature but Trump will feed emboldened by this.
Mexico may also have a different reading of what has been agreed – it has been known with this White House administration’s diplomacy – and we must watch closely what happens next.
How will he respond, for example, if the flow of migrants from Central America does not slow immediately? It is certain to take time for Mexico’s moves to take effect.
In a global sense, this could be bad news for China and, potentially, the European Union too.
If Trump feels that ramping up the talk of tariffs gets him what he wants, he is certain to resort it to more often.
He once said that trade wars were easy to win. There are few, even in his own administration, who agree.
We should expect to hear the threat of tariffs again in the future. The relief right now might be short-lived.
For all of those who fear their impact, it could be a rollercoaster of a few months.
As if we’d expect anything else from the president who loves to be unpredictable.
Source: SKY NEWS