BUSTED: Trump claimed victory on his trade war — even though Mexico had agreed to the actions before he launched it
US President Donald Trump and Mexican leader Enrique Pena Nieto held talks on the sidelines of the G20 summit, including the contentious issue of immigration and a border wall. (AFP / SAUL LOEB)

President Donald Trump declared victory in his trade war with Mexico on Friday night, a position that fell apart under New York Times scrutiny on Saturday.


"The deal to avert tariffs that President Trump announced with great fanfare on Friday night consists largely of actions that Mexico had already promised to take in prior discussions with the United States over the past several months, according to officials from both countries who are familiar with the negotiations," The Times reported.

The newspaper noted, "Friday’s joint declaration says Mexico agreed to the “deployment of its National Guard throughout Mexico, giving priority to its southern border.” But the Mexican government had already pledged to do that in March during secret talks in Miami between Kirstjen Nielsen, then the secretary of homeland security, and Olga Sanchez, the Mexican secretary of the interior, the officials said."

"The centerpiece of Mr. Trump’s deal was an expansion of a program to allow asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while their legal cases proceed. But that arrangement was first reached in December in a pair of painstakingly negotiated diplomatic notes that the two countries exchanged," the report noted.

"It was unclear whether Mr. Trump believed that the agreement truly represented new and broader concessions, or whether the president understood the limits of the deal but accepted it as a face-saving way to escape from the political and economic consequences of imposing tariffs on Mexico," The Times added.

Read the full report.