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Official: Mexico’s president ‘considering’ scrapping U.S. trip


    Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto pauses during a press conference at Los Pinos presidential residence in Mexico City, Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. Pena Nieto said Monday that Mexico’s attitude towards the Donald Trump administration should not be aggressive or biased, but one of dialogue. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

MEXICO CITY >> Mexico’s president is “considering” canceling next week’s visit to Washington following President Donald Trump’s order to begin construction of a wall between the two countries, a senior official said Wednesday.

The decision to rethink the visit comes amid growing outrage in Mexico, and a sense among many that President Enrique Pena Nieto has been too weak in the face of Trump’s tough policy stance.

The official, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press the administration “is considering” scrapping the Jan. 31 visit. “That’s what I can tell you.”

It was not clear when a final decision may be made.

Trump’s order came the same day Mexico’s foreign relations and economy secretaries arrived in Washington for talks with his administration, and its timing was seen by many in Mexico as a slap in the face.

Critics of Pena Nieto — whose approval ratings were just 12 percent in a recent survey, the lowest for any Mexican president in the polling era — have hammered him for his perceived weakness on Trump. Opposition politicians urged him Wednesday to call off the trip.

“The position is very clear,” said Ricardo Anaya Cortes, president of the conservative opposition National Action Party. “Either one cancels the meeting with Donald Trump, or one attends it to say publicly and with absolute firmness that Mexico rejects the wall and we will not pay a single cent for it.”

Trump has vowed to force Mexico to pay for the wall, and also to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. Pena Nieto and other officials have repeatedly said Mexico will not pay.

The U.S. president has also promised to step up deportations. He launched his campaign with remarks calling immigrants crossing in illegally from Mexico criminals, drug dealers and “rapists.” Trump added that “some” were presumably good people, but the comments nonetheless deeply offended many Mexicans.

Pena Nieto was roundly criticized after inviting candidate Trump to Mexico City last August and disappointed many of his countrymen by not publicly confronting Trump on the wall.

On Tuesday, ahead of their trip to Washington, the economy and foreign relations secretaries suggested that Mexico could leave NAFTA if negotiations with Washington are unsatisfactory — though that would not be the first choice.

Already Mexico is feeling the effects of the new tone from Washington. The Mexican peso has sharply devalued since Trump was elected, and several high-profile business ventures have been canceled amid threats to impose a border tax on goods made in Mexico and exported to the United States.

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  • Mexico, one of the most corrupt drug dealing countries in the world. Cartels may be more influential than the politicians that they don’t already own.

  • You can be sure that the head of the government of Israel won’t cancel his trip. He’ll be there bright and early next week with his empty tin cup seeking more billions of our tax dollars to pay for settlement expansions in the occupied Palestinian lands. There will never be a two state solution if they keep building homes on occupied land.

    • true…It was funny but totally expected, to see the tough, proud, egocentric Trump immediately wimp out and bow low to Israel and the interests of the controversial far right-wing government.

        • @el-burro, I don’t understand why, in disagreeing with someone’s views, you also feel the need to be so unkind. Can’t you just say you disagree?

      • Lets see. The choices are, be friends with a country that has been friendly to the US throughout history or “try” to befriend the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world that chant death to America and lob rockets into civilian areas. Not much to think about there eh?

      • Exactly, kuroiwaj.

        Obama’s Mideast policy was a JOKE. Hundreds of $millions for Palestinians and $billions and $billions for Israel. No more!

        American taxpayers gave Israel $3.6 billion per in Military aid ($9.8 million per day) in 2016. By all accounts the United States has given more money to Israel than to any other country. The Congressional Research Service’s conservative estimate of total cumulative US aid to Israel from 1949 through 2015 is $127.4 billion (not adjusted for inflation). The inflation-adjusted total is much much higher.

        Contrary to ordinary U.S. policy, Israel has been and continues to be allowed to use approximately 26% of U.S. military aid to purchase equipment from Israeli Arms manufacturers.

        No other recipient of U.S. military assistance has been granted this benefit, and this has allowed the Israel’s arms industry to become one of the strongest in the world. In 2015, Israel sold $5.7 billion in military goods to other countries. This is killing American jobs.

        For example, US Arms makers are competing against the Israelis in the Indian defense procurement market at the same time we are subsidizing the Israeli defense industry. Does this make any sense?

        The U.S. government estimates that Israel is using approximately $1.2 billion each year (38.7% of the aid it receives from the U.S.) to “directly support its domestic budget rather than to build on its arsenal of advanced US equipment.” Israel has used American tax dollars to pay for its state of the art infrastructure, excellent education system, and massive border-security walls. They built themselves a beautiful wall but WE PAID FOR IT!

        Trump is going to fix this injustice, revoke Obama’s obsolete giveaway to Israel, negotiate for America, and MAKE THEM PAY just like he’s going to do for NATO and the UN.

        Heck, even NATO allies joined the US in its post-9-11 military response in the region. These allies shed blood for us with boots on the ground in Afghanistan, but where was Israel? Crickets…

        If Israel wants American military support, they are going to have to pay instead of just whining and fomenting conflict while they profit off of selling military equipment to the combatants.

        Enough pampering of Israel while the American people suffer.

        Trump is so right. America First!

  • Americans don’t kneed Mexico’s illegal migrant workers! Take em all back and the millions of illegal Mexican Migrants in the US! I call this FAIR TRADE! you can have all of your illegal migrants in the US back and the US can cut all ties with Mexico! Mexico’s Drug King Pins runs the Coutnry, lol.

  • Mexico needs American not only for the money, the illegals send back there but American also serves as a dumping ground for all the
    “cockroaches” who would overthrow the corrupt ruling class in Mexico if they could not be funneled off to American.
    The corrupt ruling class in Mexico know this very well but they have no intention to reform. Mexico s a resource rich country but it all goes to the corrupt ruling class.
    Throw in the drug cartels and you have a totally hopeless situation beyond reform short of a violent revolution.

  • The way The Donald is moving – his first 100 days of his presidency accomplishments will surely be better than his predecessors. Good or bad he is sticking to his promises!

  • Enrique is no match for The Donald. They get aid from the US and a chunk in the future will probably be redirected towards the “wall” instead. Trump will find a way to win this spat at the same time allowing Enrique to save face. It’ll end up looking like a win for both sides.

  • Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto is a political figurehead and is at the “beck and call” of Carlos Slim Helu of Mexico ranking in the top 5 richest in the world and at one time the richest person in the world. He is mainly known by the name of Carlos Slim. He is the top shareholder of the New York Times and has a close relationship with the corrupt Clinton’s, therefore for the “skewed” news. A lot of his fortune is made from Mexico’s drug cartel, of course, his bio omits that. No border wall built, it is business as usual. A border wall up places more challenges for the open flow of drug trafficking into the US.

    Carlos Slim lost close to $5 billion after POTUS Trump won, so did other people who are the richest in the world. If the US leaves NAFTA as Trump has threatened to do, Mexico’s peso value probably will go down even further. Slim was a guest and dined w/PE Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort after the elections.

    Mexico is putting the US on notice they will not pay for the wall or negotiate to keep their people in that contributes to the hardship on the US economy and citizens. The US could push back and cut their line pulling out from NAFTA. Flood Mexico rounding up their illegal immigrants in the US for deportation along with the illegal Mexican’s in US prisons around the country and rescind all visa status.

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