Trump forced Mexico to either do his 'dirty work' for him or face financial chaos with tariffs: Ex-foreign minister
LAS VEGAS NEVADA, DECEMBER 14, 2015: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at campaign event at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino the day before the CNN Republican Presidential Debate (Photo: Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock)

On Saturday, former Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda slammed President Donald Trump on MSNBC for using the threat of mutually catastrophic tariffs to force Mexico to do his bidding on border policy.


"With this agreement, as you know, Mexico will be deploying its National Guard troops throughout the country, particularly on the southern border there, going to also increase action to dismantle human trafficking operations, and accept an expansion of a Trump administration program which makes some migrants being forced to may in Mexico while their asylum claims are being heard in the U.S.," said host Alex Witt. "Do you think this is being a good deal for Mexico?"

"No, I think it's a terrible deal for Mexico — we're doing the United States' dirty work for it," said Castaneda. "But if the choice was tariffs or this bad deal, probably this bad deal is better."

"Practically every migrant who requests asylum in the United States will be sent back to Mexico to wait his turn and wait for a hearing," said Castaneda. "And that can be only 8,000 people, like there are now ,or it can be 470,000, which is the number of people that have been taken into custody by DHS and CBP over the past five months. Which it's going to be, we don't know, but you can imagine, if it's even somewhere in between, this is 100,000, 200,000, 250,000 migrants in small towns on the Mexican/U.S. border is very difficult to deal with for a country going through tough economic times like Mexico is today."

"Difficult to deal with to the extent that you wrote the president's tariffs threat amounted to extortion of Mexico," Witt continued. "Do you think Mexico is being extorted here?"

"Well, extorted or blackmailed, you can take your pick on whichever sounds better. That's basically what it is," said Castaneda. "If you don't do what I want, I will slap tariffs on you. First 5 percent, which are manageable, then 10 percent, a little less easy to manage, but once we get to 25 percent, then it's very difficult to manage. I guess that's pretty much what I would call extortion. And the proof of it is that President Trump backed off the minute he got most of what he wanted, which was this remain in Mexico program, plus deploying of troops, plus going after the people traffickers."

Watch below:

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