Washington, January 27: US President Donald Trump wants a 20 per cent border tax on all imports from Mexico, White House spokesman Sean Spicer has said.
Spicer on Thursday said Trump want to use the new tax to fund the proposing wall between the US and Mexico.
Just a few hours after Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto canceled the work meeting with President Trump scheduled for next Tuesday in Washington, Spicer gave this message.
“This morning we have informed the White House that I will not attend the meeting scheduled for next Tuesday with the (President of the United States),” Nieto announced via Twitter.
The announcement follows Trump’s tweet earlier saying that “If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.”
Spicer didn’t release any detail about how the new tax will work.
Building a wall at the US southern border with Mexico to be paid by Mexico was one of Trump’s key election campaign pledges. Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to build “a large physical barrier” between the two countries.
Trump reiterated on Wednesday during an interview that the wall project will start as soon as possible and financed by Washington, but Mexico will “100 per cent” reimburse the US at “a later date,” which has been rejected by Mexican government several times.
US President said also said on Thursday if Mexico refuses to pay for the wall between the two countries aimed at curbing the flow of illegal migrants into America, “it would be better” to scrap his planned visit to Mexico.
“If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting (with Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nietro),” Trump said.
“The US has a $60 billion 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,” Trump tweeted.
On Wednesday, Trump also signed orders to stem illegal immigration from Mexico and secure the US border.
Though the US would initially pay for the construction, Trump vowed that Mexico will have to compensate the entire expenditures.
The plan did not sit well with the Mexican leader.
“I regret and condemn the decision of the United States to continue construction of a wall that, for years, has divided us instead of uniting us,” Nieto on Wednesday said in a brief televised message to his nation.
Nieto stressed that his country “will not pay for any wall.”