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Pelosi denounces Trump's Mexico trade deal tactics

President Trump, flanked by Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, delivers the State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on February 5, 2019.
President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

"President Trump undermined America’s preeminent leadership role in the world by recklessly threatening to impose tariffs" on Mexico, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Saturday that criticized the expansion of the administration's Remain-in-Mexico policy.

QuoteThreats and temper tantrums are no way to negotiate foreign policy."

Details: Pelosi said she's "deeply disappointed" by the expansion of the administration's Remain-in-Mexico policy, being challenged in the courts, which aims to keep Central American asylum-seekers in Mexico until U.S. officials have determined if they're eligible to enter the United States. This "violates the rights of asylum seekers under U.S. law and fails to address the root causes of Central American migration," Pelosi said.

“Congress will continue to hold the Trump Administration accountable for its failures to address the humanitarian situation at our southern border."

Driving the news: Trump announced Friday that tariffs against Mexican goods were "indefinitely suspended." A joint statement from the State Department and the Mexican government said Mexico would take "unprecedented steps to increase enforcement to curb irregular migration, to include the deployment of its National Guard throughout Mexico, giving priority to its southern border."

The big picture: Trump's announcement was welcomed by Republicans. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said he generally doesn't not support imposing tariffs, but Trump's "exerting maximum pressure and demanding decisive action" on Mexico got the desired result.

  • The president issued his own attack on Pelosi Saturday, as their war of words showed no sign of abating.

Go deeper: The behind-the-scenes scramble to announce Trump's Mexico tariff surprise