Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Thursday said he canceled his planned trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with Donald Trumpfollowing the U.S. president’s insistence Mexico pay for a border wall.
“This morning he has informed the White House that he will not participate in the working meeting scheduled for next Tuesday with the president of the United States,” a post on Peña Nieto’s Twitter said. “Mexico reiterates its willingness to work with the United States to reach agreements on behalf of the nations.”
Peña Nieto on Wednesday said he “regrets and disapproves” of Trump’s proposed wall, reiterating that Mexico will not pay for it.
Following Peña Nieto’s comment, Trump early Thursday said, also on Twitter, that “If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.”
“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,” Trump tweeted.
Trump on Wednesday signed an executive action directing federal agencies to prepare for construction of a “large physical barrier on the southern border.”
During an MSNBC interview, House Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday said the United States will likely fund Trump’s border wall with a supplemental bill prior to making Mexico “pay for it.” During a press conference with Ryan Thursday morning in Philadelphia, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellsaid the wall would cost between $12 billion and $15 billion to construct.