Trump had threatened to use tariffs not as a trade negotiating tool but as a cudgel to force Mexico to do more to stop undocumented immigrants from heading to the U.S. border.
He announced via Twitter on Friday that the two nations had reached an agreement on the issue, so the tariffs were “indefinitely suspended.” The New York Times reported Saturday that much of what the Trump administration and Mexico called “unprecedented” new steps by Mexico to stop immigrants from entering the U.S. were agreed to months ago.
Pelosi said in a statement that Trump “undermined America’s preeminent leadership role in the world by recklessly threatening to impose tariffs on our close friend and neighbor to the south.” She added: “Threats and temper tantrums are no way to negotiate foreign policy.”
Pelosi also called the administration’s apparent expansion of its “failed Remain-in-Mexico policy” a violation of the rights of asylum seekers and said that it “fails to address the root causes of Central American migration.”
Other Democrats piled on Trump, accusing him of concocting a crisis so he could ride in to save the day.
“What we see is yet another example of him trying to be both the arsonist who created this problem in the first place and the firefighter who wants credit for addressing it,” tweeted former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas, who’s seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
Trump earlier on Saturday ripped “Nervous Nancy Pelosi” and Democrats in a tweet for “getting nothing done.”
The president has been intensifying attacks on Pelosi since it was reported last week that she had told top Democrats in a closed-door meeting that she would rather see Trump in prison than impeached. In a Fox News interview, Trump proceeded to blast Pelosi as a “disgrace,” and a “disaster,” and a “nasty, vindictive, horrible person.”