Mexico will not pay for Donald Trump's border wall, the country's president has said in a message to the nation. Enrique Pena Nieto (photo) said he "lamented" the plans for the barrier, but made no mention of changing a scheduled trip to Washington to meet the new president.Rico says it'd be much cheaper to offer a bounty in Texas on dead Mexicans...
Trump responded, saying "it would be better to cancel" the 31 January meeting if Mexico is unwilling to pay. He has signed an executive order for an "impassable physical barrier" and insisted Mexico will reimburse the US.
In a televised address, Pena Nieto told the nation: "I've said time and again; Mexico will not pay for any wall. I regret and condemn the decision of the United States to continue construction of a wall that, for years, has divided us instead of uniting us." But Pena Nieto said his country offered "its friendship to the American people and its willingness to reach accords with their government".
President Trump took to Twitter following his statement, suggesting Mexico owed the US for the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). "The US has a sixty-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," he wrote. "If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly-needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting."
Earlier, Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, in Washington to lead a delegation that has held talks at the White House, told the Televisa network that Mexico's president was still weighing his visit, but said "the meeting stands for now".
Pena Nieto met Trump, then a presidential candidate, in Mexico City in September of 2016 and came under intense criticism at home, and his current approval ratings are low.
Trump said in an interview with ABC News that Mexico would "absolutely, a hundred percent" reimburse the US for his wall. But Congress would have to approve funding for the structure, which is estimated to cost billions of dollars.
Building a two thousand mile barrier along the Mexican border was one of Trump's key pledges in the election campaign. He spoke of a "crisis" on the southern US border as he signed the directives during a ceremony at the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday. The orders also called for hiring ten thousand immigration officials to help boost border patrol efforts. "A nation without borders is not a nation," he said. "Beginning today, the United States gets back control of its borders."
The executive orders are among a flurry expected on national and border security this week.
26 January 2017
The BBC has an article about the proposed wall on the Mexican border:
Posted by Rico at 16:34