WASHINGTON — President Trump’s detractors are trying to play down the significance of the U.S.-Mexico immigration deal, saying it is largely comprised of actions that Mexico had already agreed to many months ago.

Nice try. If Mexico had truly agreed to implement many of these measures in December, then why had they not been implemented six months later? As even Mexican officials acknowledge, it was Trump’s threat of tariffs that forced Mexico’s hand. In announcing the deal, a relieved Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said the “most important thing is that they didn’t apply tariffs and we didn’t experience an economic slowdown.” The fact is, Trump bucked Republicans on Capitol Hill and even many of his own advisers, and used the threat of tariffs to get Mexico to act — and it worked.

Follow Marc A. Thiessen on Twitter, @marcthiessen.

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