Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto cancels trip to White House in wake of Donald Trump border wall comments
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has cancelled his scheduled trip to the White House next week to meet with President Donald Trump.
Pena Nieto took to social media on Thursday to announce the cancellation.
“This morning we have informed the White House that I will not attend the meeting scheduled for next Tuesday with the @POTUS,” the Mexican president said. “Mexico reiterates its willingness to work with the United States to achieve agreements in favour of both Nations.”
Pena Nieto’s decision comes just hours after Trump, in a series of tweets, suggested the Mexican president cancel his trip if his country was not willing to pay for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting,” Trump 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.”
Speaking in Philadelphia Thursday afternoon, Trump said the two presidents both “agreed” to cancel the meeting.
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“The president of Mexico and myself have agreed to cancel our planned meeting scheduled for next week,” Trump said. “Unless Mexico is going to treat the United States fairly, with respect, such a meeting would be fruitless and I want to go a different route. We have no choice.”
On Wednesday, Trump signed executive orders approving the border wall, while reiterating that Mexico would pay for it in one form or another.
“I’m just telling you, there will be a payment. It will be in a form, perhaps a complicated form,” Trump told ABC News anchor David Muir. “You have to understand, what I’m doing is good for the United States, it’s also going to be good for Mexico. We want to have a very stable, very solid Mexico.”
Trump noted that talks between the two countries would begin shortly and that U.S. taxpayers would foot the initial bill for the wall but “we will be in a form reimbursed by Mexico.”
“All it is is we’ll be reimbursed at a later date from whatever transaction we make from Mexico,” Trump said.
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