A border fence (photographer: Frederick Dennstedt)
Politics

Mexican President cancels Trump meeting

Peña Nieto cancels meeting in protest over Trump’s executive order

By Hannah Woodward

Enrique Peña Nieto, the President of Mexico has cancelled a meeting with President Donald Trump.

The decision to cancel the meeting came after Trump moved forward with plans to build a wall on the Mexican border by signing an executive order. Trump has also claimed that Mexico would be forced to foot the bill.

Trump has suggested that the decision to cancel the meeting with Peña Nieto was a mutual decision stating “The president of Mexico and myself have agreed to cancel our planned meeting next week, unless Mexico is going to treat the United States fairly, with respect, such a meeting would be fruitless and I want to go a different route. We have no choice.”

Trump’s ignorance towards the meaning of respect for other countries was perhaps the reason for Nieto’s withdrawal from the meeting, hence prior to incident Nietos released a short video statement adding that “Mexico will not pay for any wall”. The President of Mexico has received mass criticism throughout Mexico, due to failing to create a decisive strategy for coping with Donald Trumps polices.

Following the video statement by Nieto, Trump appeared to be provoking Nieto into pulling out of the meeting, adding on social media: “The US has a $60bn trade deficit with Mexico. It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of NAFTA with massive numbers of jobs and companies lost. If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.”

Many Mexicans welcomed Nieto’s ruling, but questioned why the stand against Trump had taken so long, and why it was not included in the short video statement. The explicit anti Mexican rhetoric has been a long standing part of Trumps manifesto, however due to the Nieto’s longstanding silence against Trumps comments his ratings are at a all time low at 12%.

Political consultant Fernando Dworak described Peña Nieto’s response as “tepid”. “He needed to show strength. Something like: we’re withdrawing from all dialogue until there are conditions to talk again.”

The diplomatic spat is still centered on who will pay for the border wall. The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, stated last Thursday that a border wall would cost between $12bn and $15bn, but would not comment on how the cost of the wall would be offset in the federal budget.

However the plans for the wall are evidently going ahead, and with few world leaders commenting on the insanity of the ordeal, the situation seems like a lost cause. Theresa May has failed to condemn Trumps actions, nonetheless seems more concerned with resurrecting the “special relationship” that has been apparent in recent decades, as opposed to standing up to the controversial Trump.

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