(NationalSentinel)Â It was more than just another campaign pledge made by then-GOP candidate Donald J. Trump. It was a serious thing he proposedâ€”building a new wall all along the U.S.-Mexico border, andÂ making Mexico pay for it, one way or another.
This week Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto was scheduled to meet with Trump to discuss a range of issues regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which he wants to renegotiate with Mexico City, and the border wall. But after Trump continued to insist that the wallâ€™s costs would eventually be reimbursed by Mexico, Nieto has pulled out of the meeting,Â Reuters reported Thursday.
The cancellation deepens the animosity between both countries, but the Trump administration nevertheless left a door open for rapprochement. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the United States was keeping open the lines of communication with Mexico and is currently attempting to reschedule the meeting. (RELATED:Â Check in at Trump.newsÂ to see what the president will do next on this issue)
Nieto was Trump-like in his response; he used his Twitter account to fire off a verbal salvo after Trump repeated his intentions to have Mexico pay for a border wall he authorized via executive action earlier this week during anÂ interview Wednesday withÂ ABC News. The continued insistence by Trump produced several calls within the Mexican government for Nieto to call off the meeting, which was set for next week.
Earlier Thursday, Trump said via Twitter that his Mexican counterpart should cancel next weekâ€™s meeting if Mexico refuses to pay for the wall. Trump has said that the wall is an integral part of his overall strategy to curb illegal immigration, shore up border security and cut down on the flow of illegal drugs in to the U.S. For its part, however, Mexico has long insisted it wonâ€™t pay for any wall.
â€œWe have informed the White House that I will not attend the working meeting planned for next Tuesday with @POTUS,â€ Nieto tweeted. â€œMexico reiterates its willingness to work with the United States to reach agreements that favor both nations.â€
Trump has said he favors continued trade with Mexico, but that the NAFTA agreement is unfair to the U.S. and he wants it renegotiated.
We’ll see how this goes. Mexico sends 80 percent of its goods to the United States, meaning American consumers are accustomed to buying Mexican-produced products. There is leverage on both sides of the border and incentive forÂ both countries to get this worked out.