Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, has rejected any suggestions of his country paying for a border wall and pledged to sign an updated free-trade agreement with the European Union as he seeks to diversify the economy away from the United States.
Speaking in uncharacteristically stern and straightforward language, Peña Nieto told an audience of Mexican diplomats: “All matters that define our bilateral relationship are on the table including security, immigration and commerce.”
But he said any negotiations must include touchy topics for Americans, including putting an end to the flow of illegal guns across the border and arming deadly drug cartels.
“It is evident that we have differences with the new United States government on some issues, such as a wall that Mexico absolutely will not pay for,” Peña Nieto said. “At no time will we accept anything that goes against our dignity as a country and our dignity as Mexicans.
Peña Nieto’s pronouncement contradicts 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 of the wall at a press conference on Wednesday.
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 ………..
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