Mexican president cancels meeting with Donald Trump

Online Desk | January 27,2017 | 1:05 pm

The opposition pressed for Enrique Peña Nieto to surrender to the White House on 31 January.

Relations between the United States and Mexico are becoming increasingly tense every day on the construction of a border wall between the two countries desired by Donald Trump . Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced on Thursday (January 26th) his Twitter account to cancel his meeting with his American counterpart, scheduled to take place in Washington on January 31st.

In reply, he considered that, in the present state of relations between the two countries, "such a meeting is fruitless" . He added that the postponement sine die of their interview had been a joint decision. A few hours earlier, Mr. Trump had launched on Twitter: "If Mexico is not ready to pay the wall, which is really necessary, it would be better to cancel the coming encounter. "

This exchange on social networks follows the signature the day before by Donald Trump of a decree launching the project of construction of a wall between the United States and Mexico with the stated aim of stemming the illegal immigration. The text also mentions the presence of 5,000 additional police officers to protect the borders and the creation along this demarcation line of detention centers to speed up the illegal deportations.

These measures are experienced as a humiliation in Mexico. Especially since the economy of the country could not absorb a large return of undocumented migrants while 12 million Mexicans live in the United States, of which 5.7 million are illegal.

Challenge of the Alena

Worse, Mr. Trump said Wednesday, on the television channel ABC, that the cost of construction of the wall would be taken care of by Mexico, which Mexico refuses categorically. The spokesman for US President Sean Spicer announced on Thursday evening that Washington was planning to finance the works by imposing a 20% tax on all products crossing the border.

"By doing this we can harvest ten billion dollars a year and easily pay for the wall through this mechanism alone ," he said. A few hours later, however, he insisted that it was only one proposal among many, designed to illustrate the many possibilities for funding.

In Philadelphia on Thursday, Trump also reversed the free trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada . For the American president, this text, which came into force in 1994, is a "total disaster" for his country. "I will not let the American taxpayers pay the cost of this defective agreement that should have been renegotiated years ago," he threatened .

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