U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday insisted that his position on the border wall with Mexico has not changed, and that the latter country would pay for it “directly or indirectly.”
“The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it. Parts will be, of necessity, see through and it was never intended to be built in areas where there is natural protection such as mountains, wastelands or tough rivers or water.
“The Wall will be paid for, directly or indirectly, or through longer term reimbursement, by Mexico, which has a ridiculous 71 billion dollar trade surplus with the U.S.
“The 20 billion dollar Wall is peanuts compared to what Mexico makes from the U.S. NAFTA is a bad joke!” he said on Twitter.
On Jan. 11, Economy Secretary reiterated that Mexico would not be paying for the wall.
On Jan. 26, 2017, Mexico President Enrique Nieto condemned President Trump’s executive order to build a wall on the border between the two countries, and reiterated that his country will not pay for it.
“I regret and reject the decision of the U.S. to build the wall,” Pena Nieto said in a nationally televised address.
The U.S. president has also promised to step up deportations.
He launched his campaign with remarks calling immigrants crossing in illegally from Mexico criminals, drug dealers and “rapists.”
Trump added that “some” were presumably good people, but the comments nonetheless deeply offended many Mexicans.
Already Mexico is feeling the effects of the new tone from Washington.
The Mexican peso has sharply devalued since Trump was elected, and several high-profile business ventures have been canceled amid threats to impose a border tax on goods made in Mexico and exported to the U.S.