WASHINGTON – Mexico is delaying a meeting between Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and President Donald Trump for a second time because Trump refuses to take border wall talks off the table.
Trump and Nieto exchanged words about the border wall on a phone call Tuesday and planned a long-awaited White House meeting between both world leaders. The president reportedlyrefused Neito’s demands that border wall negotiationsbe left out of the conversation topics at the pending White House meeting, causing Neito’s administration to once again postpone a trip to Washington.
Nieto canceled his first planned White House visit in January 2017 after Trump signed an executive orderthat authorized border wall construction along the southern U.S.-Mexico divide. After announcing he would not attend the White House meeting, Nieto promised the Mexican people the nation would not pay for any part of the wall — a reference to one of Trump’s key campaign promises regarding its construction.
Acting Deputy Commissioner Ronald D. Vitiello tours the Border Wall Construction Site, Photo by Mani Albrecht, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Public Affairs, SAN DIEGO, CA, UNITED STATES 10.26.2017
The Mexican president’s assertion illustrates the line in the sand that both administration’s have drawn. Trump has insisted since he kicked off his campaign in 2015 that Mexico will pay, either directly or indirectly, for the wall. Nieto, like former Mexican President Vicente Fox, is unwilling to concede that point, insisting Mexico will not cough up one red cent.
The cancellation also comes as North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiation talks continue Sunday in Mexico and an upcoming presidential election in the nation barrels closer to the July Election Day.
Feature photo: Peña Nieto at the World Economic Forum (2010). Photo by Edgar Alberto Domínguez Cataño. The photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Copyright World Economic Forum www.weforum.org / Edgar Alberto Domínguez Cataño.
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