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12:44, 12 January 2017

Mexican president: 'Of course' we won't pay for Trump's wall

AKIPRESS.COM - Mexico's president reiterated his nation will not pay for a wall along the US-Mexico border just hours after President-elect Donald Trump doubled-down on his campaign pledge to force the country to do so, CNN reports.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto made his comments at the end of a speech at an annual gathering of senior Mexican diplomats at the National Palace Wednesday. While stressing his desire for a positive relationship between the two countries and naming several issues on which he said they could cooperate, Peña Nieto assured his nation they would not be footing the bill for Trump's wall.

"It is evident that we have some differences with the new government of the United States, like the topic of the wall, that Mexico of course will not pay," Peña Nieto said in the address. “At no time will we accept anything that goes against our dignity as a country and our dignity as Mexicans. Basic principles such as sovereignty, the national interest and the protection of our citizens are non-negotiable.”

Peña Nieto’s pronouncement contradict the insistence of the US president-elect, Donald Trump, that Mexico will cover the costs of fencing off its frontier with the United States.

“I want to get started. I don’t want to wait a year and a half,” Trump said.

The tougher talk from the Mexican side comes as the country confronts the consequences of Trump scolding automakers for expanding production there – taking to Twitter to jawbone them into shifting production from Mexico to the United States, reports Guardian.

Ford has already cancelled an investment of $1.6bn to build a factory in north-central Mexico, while Fiat-Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne has said high tariffs would make the production of anything in Mexico “uneconomical”.

Trump’s tweets and promises to impose penalties on Mexican exports have hammered the peso. Mexico’s currency reached a record low during his press conference, dipping below 22 per US dollar.


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