Yesterday President Trump signed an executive order to direct construction of a new wall on the US/Mexican border and said said Mexico would have to pay for it.
The Mexican president Enrique Nieto responded last night by making a video saying Mexico refuses to pay for the wall, was against the decision by the U.S. to build a wall that would divide the countries, and that it offers respect but demands respect.
Trump responded on Twitter this morning saying if Mexico is unwilling to pay for the wall, then it would be better for them to cancel the meeting (set for next week).
Mexican president Nieto responded by cancelling the meeting — he said he would not attend the meeting that was scheduled for next Tuesday.
This afternoon Press Sec. Spicer said Trump plans to pay for the wall by imposing a 20% tax on all imports from Mexico — which would be a departure from NAFTA and other trade agreements with Mexico. The U.S. is Mexico’s largest trading partner. This planned import tax will impact not just Mexican businesses, but also U.S. businesses that buys Mexican-made things and sells it to Americans. The 20% tax will need congressional approval.
President Trump visited a GOP (Republican) retreat in Philadelphia — and said that both him and Nieto agreed to cancel the meeting — because such a meeting would be fruitless and that Trump wanted to go a different route.
Earlier this morning at the Philadelphia retreat, the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced today that Congress would go forward with making plans to approve funds to start construction of the U.S./Mexican border wall. It is estimated the wall would cost $12 to $15 billion.