27 Jan 2017

Mexican President Cancels Trump Meeting

"We will never ever pay for the Fucking Wall."
By Sunita Patel-Carstairs: Mexico's president has said he will not meet Donald Trump next week amid a deepening war of words over US plans for a border wall.
The American leader had earlier threatened to cancel the Washington talks due to Enrique Pena Nieto's refusal to pay for the controversial barrier.

President Trump, who is in Philadelphia to meet top Republicans, tweeted: "The U.S. has a 60 billion dollar trade deficit with Mexico. It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of NAFTA with massive numbers...

"... of jobs and companies lost. If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting."

Mr Pena Nieto has now hit back, tweeting: "This morning we have informed the White House that I will not attend the meeting scheduled for next Tuesday with the @POTUS."

The relationship between the two countries has been strained since President Trump promised the construction of a 2,000-mile wall along the border with Mexico and insisted the US neighbour would "100%" pay for it.

But in a televised message to his country, Mr Pena Nieto reasserted that Mexico would not pay a single peso towards it.

"I have said it time and again: Mexico will not pay for any wall," he said.

He did not mention the Washington meeting in his address, but he had faced growing calls to scrap it himself.

Mr Trump would need to get approval from Congress for any new funding for the wall - with costs estimated at £5.2m ($6.5m) per mile for a single-layer fence by the Government Accountability Office.

Soon after the President tweeted, House Speaker Paul Ryan said the wall will cost between $12bn (£9.5bn) to $15bn (£12bn).

He added he expected the move to get congressional approval by the end of September.

Former Mexican president Vicente Fox Quesada, who had already slammed the project earlier on Twitter resumed his social media assault.

Responding to the billionaire's ultimatum, he wrote: "Donald, don't be self-indulgent. Mexico has spoken, we will never ever pay for the Fucking Wall."

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