Trump slams Mexican president over border wall funding

President Trump threatens to cancel meeting over Mexico's refusal to underwrite border wall, suggests he may seek to scrap NAFTA deal.

David Rosenberg,

 Donald Trump
Donald Trump

President Donald Trump slammed Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto's Thursday, over the Mexican leader’s refusal to underwrite a planned border wall between the US and Mexico.

Since declaring his candidacy in the summer of 2015, Trump has made the planned border wall separating the US and Mexico a cornerstone of platform.

The newly-inaugurated president also repeatedly promised on the campaign trail that Mexico, not the US, would ultimately pay for the border wall, though acknowledged that the payment would not necessarily come in the form of a direct transfer from the Mexican government.

Speaking with ABC News on Wednesday, Trump said the payment could take “a complicated form”, including possible taxes on visas for Mexican and Central American visitors to the US, tariff’s on Mexican goods, or a tax on remittances sent from workers in the US to relatives in Mexico.

In response, President Peña Nieto released a video statement Wednesday night, criticizing the construction of the wall, and reaffirming his refusal to underwrite it, saying “Mexico will not pay for a wall.”

In response, Trump warned in a tweet Thursday he could nix an upcoming meeting with Mexican leaders, and suggested he may seek to either scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) trade deal or radically alter the agreement, which has shaped US-Mexican relations since 1994.

"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. If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting."