Tijuana, Mexico: Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard told a cheering crowd near the US border on Saturday that his country emerged from high-stakes talks over US tariffs with its "dignity intact".
The rally in Tijuana, a short walk from the border, was originally scheduled as an act of solidarity in the face of President Donald Trump's threat to impose a 5 per cent tariff on Mexico's exports if it did not stem the flow of Central American migrants crossing its territory toward the US. The tariff threat had brought opposition from within Trump's own party for the economic disruption it would have caused.
But after Mexican and US officials reached an accord late Friday that calls on Mexico to crackdown on migrants in exchange for Trump backing off his threat, officials here converted the rally into a celebration.
Ebrard, who helped negotiate the deal in Washington DC, said when he arrived back home and gave the president his report, he told Lopez Obrador: "There are no tariffs, Mr President, we emerged with our dignity intact."
Speaking about the migrants, Ebrard said, "While they are in Mexico, we are going to be in solidarity with them."
A series of speakers at the boisterous, government-organised gathering, spoke of the importance of the US-Mexico relationship and applauded Mexico's negotiating team. The rally had the feeling of a campaign event with lots of paraphernalia from Lopez Obrador's ruling Morena party.
Tijuana residents at the rally said they supported the terms of the agreement. But residents just a block away expressed concern the deal could mean more asylum seekers having to wait in Tijuana and other Mexican border cities for the resolution of their cases in the US. That process can take months or even years.