US, Mexico speak to mend rift over wall

Jan 31, 2017, 00:29
US, Mexico speak to mend rift over wall

"It was a very, very friendly call", Trump told a joint news conference with visiting British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Visiting Washington on Thursday, Mexico's Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray scoffed at the notion, arguing that this would just pass the cost of the wall on to United States consumers of Mexican goods.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said he would not attend a planned January 31 meeting with President Donald Trump after Trump tweeted Thursday that Mexico should cancel if it is "unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall". The Trump administration also proposed a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports in a bid to get the country to pay for the wall, further straining relations.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that construction of his promised U.S. -Mexico border wall will begin "in months".

Nicknamed AMLO for his initials, Lopez Obrador has urged Mexicans to resist the policies of Trump, who stirred up widespread anger with a presidential campaign targeting Mexican migrants and laced with threats against the country's economy. They have made us look foolish.

The White House said Trump and Peña Nieto discussed the almost $60 billion trade deficit with Mexico; a shared goal of curbing "drug cartels, drug trafficking and illegal guns and arm sales" on both sides of the border; as well as "the importance of the friendship between the two nations".

"As soon as we can, as soon as we can physically do it", he told ABC News in an interview.

On Tuesday, Mr Trump signed executive orders to push ahead with two controversial oil pipelines and promised to curb regulations on U.S. industry, saying environmentalism had grown "out of control".

Escalating a cross border war of words, Trump took to Twitter to publicly upbraid Enrique Pena Nieto.

"We're no longer going to be the country that doesn't know what its doing, so we are going to renegotiate our trade deals and we are going to renegotiate other aspects our relationship with Mexico and in the end I think it will be good for both countries. We've had a good relationship with them and we will keep on having one".

White House spokesman Sean Spicer says Trump has discussed the idea with congressional leaders and wants to include the measure in a comprehensive tax reform package.

"This morning we have informed the White House I will not attend the working meeting planned for next Tuesday", Pena Nieto tweeted.

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