Diplomatic Firestorm: Donald Trump and Mexican President Cancel Meeting Due to Tensions Over ‘The Wall’
Donald Trump is keeping true to one of his most controversial campaign promises of building a wall along the nearly 2,000 mile border with Mexico. He has signed an executive order that calls for its immediate construction. According to his press secretary, Sean Spicer, Donald Trump intends to put a 20 percent import tax on all Mexican goods entering the United States in order to pay for building costs. Today, it was announced that a scheduled visit for Tuesday from Mexican President, Enrique Peña Nieto would be canceled. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, “If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.”
Mexico is currently the third largest trading partner with the United States and has a long history of diplomatic relations. Mexico provided significant aid relief during the Hurricane Katrina disaster and recently supported the U.S. intervention in the Libyan Civil War. However, since the inauguration of Donald Trump, uncertainty has affected the Mexican economy. The Mexican Peso has dropped 13 percent in value and continues to fall.
During his campaign Trump referred to Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and that they are “bringing crime.” He has also said that Mexico is “not our friend” and that they are “killing us economically.” Anger over Trump’s rhetoric regarding immigrants now coupled with a canceled visit with the Mexican President is adding to tensions between the two nations.