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Politics

Trump says won't wait for trade negotiations with Mexico before starting wall

Trump has vowed to ditch the NAFTA trade agreement with Mexico if he cannot renegotiate it in the United States' favor.
11 Ene 2017 – 02:16 PM EST
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U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., January 11, 2017. Crédito: Reuters

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump told a press conference on Wednesday he would waste no time after he takes office to start building a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

He said his vice president-elect Mike Pence is "leading an effort to get final approvals through various agencies and through Congress for the wall to begin."

"Mexico in some form ... will reimburse us," Trump added.

Mexico's Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said on Tuesday there is no way his country will pay for the wall.

"There's no way that could happen," Videgaray said on Mexican television.

"There are no circumstances...not even the best possible trade deal, investments, support which would justify taking a step that would violate the dignity of Mexicans to such an extent."

Last week Trump said Mexico would repay the United States for the wall, a day after news emerged that his transition team was exploring getting the Republican-led Congress to vote to approve tax payer funding.

Trump has vowed to ditch a joint trade deal with Mexico if he cannot renegotiate it in the United States' favor, and has threatened to slap a hefty border tax on goods produced in Mexico, notably from its burgeoning automobile sector.

On Wednesday he said the wall could not wait for the trade negotiations to be completed.

"I could wait about a year and a half until we finish our negotiations with Mexico which will start immediately after we get into office, but I don't want to wait," Trump said on Wednesday.

The wall has been a bone of contention between Trump and Mexico since the businessman launched his presidential campaign in June 2015, accusing Mexico of sending rapists and drug dealers across the border into the United States.

Videgaray said setting up a meeting between Pena Nieto and Trump once the American takes office on Jan. 20 was a priority.

Earlier this month Ford abruptly canceled a planned $1.6 billion investment in Mexico, and Trump promptly thanked the firm.

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