Category Archives: News

Mexican government says Trump never threatened to send troops to Mexico

Mexico's president, Enrique Pena Nieto, in Mexico City last month. (Marco Ugarte/ AP)
Mexico’s president, Enrique Pena Nieto, in Mexico City last month. (Marco Ugarte/ AP)

By Kate Linthicum and Cecilia Sanchez / Los Angeles Times

The Mexican government on Wednesday vehemently denied reports that President Trump threatened to send American soldiers into Mexico during a phone call with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Such a threat “did not happen during that call,” said a government statement released on Twitter Wednesday night. 

“I know it with absolute certainty, there was no threat,” Peña Nieto spokesman Eduardo Sanchez said in a radio interview. “The things that have been said are nonsense and a downright lie.”

The Associated Press and a Mexican news website, Aristegui Noticias, reported earlier in the day that Trump had humiliated Peña Nieto during a phone call between the leaders on Friday.

The White House would not comment on the purported transcript and denied that the U.S. was planning to invade Mexico.

http://www.latimes.com/world/mexico-americas/la-fg-mexico-trump-20170201-story.html

Chipotle could be hurt by Trump’s war on Mexico

Business Insider – The tariff proposal, which the Trump administration walked back saying it was just one option being considered, could make goods from Mexico more expensive. That could pose a huge problem for restaurant chains like Chipotle that heavily rely on Mexican imports.

https://www.aol.com/article/finance/2017/01/31/chipotle-could-bear-the-biggest-brunt-of-trump-s-trade-war-wit/21704171/

Videgaray says meetings with Trump are not ruled out

Mexico's Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray
Mexico’s Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray

Reuters

Mexico’s foreign minister Luis Videgaray said further meetings with Trump administration officials in coming days are not ruled out, according to a report Monday.

He said there is no tentative date yet for a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. But, the minister said, if the peso is a gauge of relations with the U.S., last week was a good week.

The Mexican peso briefly rose about 1 percent against the U.S. dollar Monday morning after netting a gain of more than 3 percent in volatile trade last week.

Videgaray said the phone call between the two presidents helped calm tensions with the U.S., but differences remain. The minister said remittances have not been a point of discussion so far with the Trump team, while talk of making organized crime pay for a wall is a positive sign.

The foreign minister also said Mexico will keep its immigration policy the same and is not closing its doors to anyone.

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/30/mexico-foreign-minister-says-meetings-with-trump-administration-not-ruled-out.html

Think tank: Trump “vilification” of Mexico will harm U.S.

The Hill – A leading progressive think tank is warning that President Donald Trump’s “vilification” of Mexicans could scuttle the U.S.-Mexico relationship The Center for American Progress (CAP)  said the U.S.-Mexico relationship is in “perhaps the best shape it has ever been. But it predicts that if Trump’s “vilification” becomes official policy, “it will harm the United States—at home, throughout the Americas, and around the globe.”

President Trump and Mexican president speak by phone amid crisis in relations

President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico with Donald J. Trump in August, when Mr. Trump visited the country during the presidential campaign.
President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico with Donald J. Trump in August, when Mr. Trump visited the country during the presidential campaign.

By Joshua Partlow and William Branigin / Washington Post

Amid one of the worst crises in U.S.-Mexico relations in years, President Trump and President Enrique Peña Nieto spoke by phone Friday morning for about an hour, a conversation that Trump said was “very, very friendly” but one he suggested was a prelude to tough negotiations over what he described as an unfair trade relationship.

“We had a very good call,” Trump said in a joint news conference with visiting British Prime Minister Theresa May. “I have been very strong on Mexico. I have great respect for Mexico. I love the Mexican people.” But he quickly added that “Mexico has outnegotiated us and beat us to a pulp. They’ve made us look foolish.”

He said his talk with Peña Nieto “lasted for about an hour” and that “we are going to be working on a fair relationship, a new relationship.”

Although Trump said that “it was a very, very friendly call,” he also stressed that “we are going to be renegotiating our trade deals.” He said negotiations with Mexico will take place “over the coming months” to ensure that the United States does not “lose” on trade.

Peña Nieto’s office said the two leaders had a “constructive and productive conversation” about the bilateral relationship, including the issue about the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico, the importance of “friendship” between the two countries, “and the need of our countries to work together to stop drug trafficking and the flow of illegal weapons.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/mexico-digs-in-and-trump-lashes-back-as-border-wall-standoff-deepens/2017/01/27/7279c196-e41c-11e6-a419-eefe8eff0835_story.html?utm_term=.70195db436bf

DONALD TRUMP BLOWS UP THE U.S.-MEXICO RELATIONSHIP

The timing of President Trump’s executive orders left Mexican diplomats furious. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)
The timing of President Trump’s executive orders left Mexican diplomats furious.
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

By Ryan Lizza / The New Yorker

Last Saturday, in his first public announcement from the White House, Sean Spicer, President Trump’s press secretary, noted that Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto would visit Trump on Jan.31st for a meeting “on trade, immigration, and security.” (This was after Spicer finished berating the press for accurately reporting on the relatively small crowd size at Trump’s Inauguration.)

This week, Peña Nieto dispatched several ministers to lay the groundwork for the summit, including Luis Videgaray, his new secretary of foreign affairs. Last fall, Videgaray, then the finance minister, and one of the few people in Peña Nieto’s administration with links to the Trump campaign, recommended that Peña Nieto invite Trump to Mexico. Trump’s visit became such an embarrassment to the unpopular Mexican government that Peña Nieto was forced to sack Videgaray.

But, after Trump won, Videgaray was welcomed back into the government in his current role. “He was the only one who had diplomatic ties to the Trump Administration,” an official at the Mexican Embassy noted.

On Wednesday, when Videgaray and his colleagues came to the White House for a day of meetings with Jared Kushner and other senior Trump aides, Trump signed one executive order calling for “the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border” and another greatly expanding the categories of undocumented immigrants who will be prioritized for deportation. The Embassy official said the team of diplomats at the White House was furious and despondent at the timing. “They were like, ‘What the fuck are we going to negotiate?’ ” the official said. “ ‘You’ve done the job. What are we going to negotiate if you’ve signed this? What’s wrong with you?’ ”

Peña Nieto made an emotional televised statement to his country on Wednesday evening condemning Trump’s executive orders. “Mexico will not pay for any wall,” he said. He promised to turn Mexico’s fifty consulates in the United States into “true ramparts in defense of migrant rights.”

The relationship between the two leaders completely ruptured. In one of his first instances of Twitter diplomacy as President, Trump wrote on Thursday morning, “If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.” Not surprisingly, Peña Nieto cancelled.

This depressing episode confirms several of the worst fears about Trump. The first is that he is not a good negotiator. Rather than waiting a week before he issued his executive orders on immigration, Trump signed them at a moment that maximally embarrassed Videgaray, the Mexican official who is the most sympathetic to him. The moves left the unpopular Peña Nieto with no choice but to cancel next week’s visit, and poisoned the relationship with one of America’s closest allies and our third-largest trading partner.

Furthermore, it showed that with his impulsive use of Twitter to make foreign-policy statements, Trump is turning American diplomacy into a series of personal relationships unguided by strategy or forethought.

http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/donald-trump-blows-up-the-u-s-mexico-relationship

Slim says Mexico’s ready for Trump talks

Reuters – Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim said on Friday a united Mexico was ready to help the government negotiate with Donald Trump, and tried to calm fears in his country about what the U.S. president’s policies would mean for its economy. In a rare news conference by the generally media-shy mogul, Slim said Mexico needed to negotiate from a position of strength, noting that Trump, who he called a “great negotiator,” represented a major change in how politics was conducted.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-slim-idUSKBN15B25Q

Trump proposals spark protests, boycotts

Time – A digital image of a clenched fist bathed in the red, white and green of Mexico’s flag and decorated with the nation’s emblematic eagle and “Consumers, to the Shout of War” is part of a slew of messages, memes and videos that have been spreading in Mexico in recent days as President Donald Trump pushes for a border wall, deportations and punishing new trade rules. Others messages call for specific boycotts of U.S. companies in Mexico, including McDonalds, Walmart and Coca-Cola. One of the most heavily trending hashtags is #AdiosStarbucks, or “Goodbye Starbucks,” referring to the Seattle company which has opened hundreds of coffee houses in Mexico.

http://time.com/4651464/mexico-donald-trump-boycott-protests/

Videgaray says paying for wall “totally unacceptable”

CNN – Mexico’s top diplomat has said the suggestion that his government would pay for President Donald Trump’s planned border wall was “totally unacceptable,” leading to the cancellation of the two countries’ leaders’ first meeting. Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray told journalists Thursday that Mexico respected the US’ prerogative to protect its borders but that Mexico “simply cannot accept the concept of a neighbor paying for your wall.”

http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/27/politics/mexico-foreign-minister-trump-comments/

Diputado claims Chapo’s $16 billion belongs to Mexico

Fox News – Members of the main opposition force in Mexico are demanding the federal government take steps to claim the entirety of assets from drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, recently extradited to the United States. Congressman Jorge Ramos Hernández claimed Guzman’s fortune amounts to at least $16 billion and must be ceded to Mexico to restore the damages caused by the trafficker’s illicit activities.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/01/26/el-chapo-guzmans-16b-in-assets-belong-to-mexico-congressman-claims.html

White House press secretary says border wall will be funded by 20 percent import tax on Mexican goods

Nafta has allowed trade between the neighbors to mushroom. Every day, goods valued at $1.4 billion cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
Nafta has allowed trade between the neighbors to mushroom. Every day, goods valued at $1.4 billion cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

By Joshua Partlow / Washington Post

President Enrique Peña Nieto on Thursday called off a trip to Washington, after President Trump launched his plan to construct a border wall and insisted he would stick Mexico with the bill. The incident opened one of the most serious rifts in memory between the United States and its southern neighbor.

Trump spokesman Sean Spicer added a stunning new detail about the proposed wall project later Thursday, saying that Trump intended to pay for it by imposing a 20 percent tax on all imports from Mexico.

Peña Nieto had been scheduled to meet with Trump on Tuesday to discuss immigration, trade and drug-war cooperation. He called off the visit after Trump tweeted that it would be “better to cancel the upcoming meeting” if Mexico was unwilling to pay for the wall.

Trump’s moves have rekindled old resentments in Mexico, a country that during its history has often felt bullied and threatened by its wealthier, more powerful neighbor. The legacy of heavy-handed U.S. behavior — which includes invasions and the seizure of significant Mexican lands — has mostly been played down by a generation of Mexican leaders who have pursued pragmatic policies and mutual economic interests with both Republican and Democratic U.S. administrations.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/mexican-president-cancels-visit-to-washington-as-tensions-with-trump-administration-intensify/2017/01/26/ececc3da-e3d9-11e6-a419-eefe8eff0835_story.html

Mexican president Pena Nieto cancels Trump meeting in Washington

 Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Thursday scrapped a planned summit with Donald Trump in the face of insistent tweets from the U.S. president demanding Mexico pay for a border wall.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Thursday scrapped a planned summit with Donald Trump in the face of insistent tweets from the U.S. president demanding Mexico pay for a border wall.

By Louis Nelson

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Thursday called off his planned trip to Washington, after President Donald Trump moved forward with his plan for a long-promised border wall and needled his southern neighbor about forcing Mexico to pay for it.

Trump, however, claims it was a mutual decision.

“I’ve said many times that the American people will not pay for the wall. And I’ve made that clear to the government of Mexico,” Trump said in remarks Thursday to congressional Republicans at a retreat in Philadelphia. “To that end, the president of Mexico and myself have agreed to cancel our planned meeting scheduled for 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.”

The president’s statement that the decision to cancel had been mutual came hours after Peña Nieto wrote on Twitter that it had been his decision to call off the White House trip. “This morning we told the White House we won’t attend next Tuesday’s meeting with @POTUS,” Peña Nieto tweeted in a series of posts. “Mexico reiterates its will to work with the US to achieve agreements for both of us.”

The posts from Peña Nieto followed two from Trump earlier Thursday morning. They warned that if Peña Nieto was steadfast in his promise that his nation won’t pay for a wall along America’s southern border, “then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting” between the two leaders.

The cancellation represented an escalation of the already simmering tension between the Trump administration and its Mexican counterpart and comes on the eve of Trump’s first meeting with a foreign leader, British Prime Minister Theresa May. Trump’s promise of a White House driven by an “America First” ethos has worried foreign leaders around the globe, but perhaps nowhere more than in Mexico, a nation with which Trump has pledged to get tough.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/trump-mexico-border-wall-warning-234211

Trump warns Mexico: Pay for the wall or cancel the meeting

The warning, posted by President Donald Trump on Twitter Thursday morning, comes as tensions between the U.S. and its southern neighbor increase. (Getty)
The warning, posted by President Donald Trump on Twitter Thursday morning, comes as tensions between the U.S. and its southern neighbor increase. (Getty)

By Louis Nelson / Politico

President Donald Trump said Thursday that if Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is steadfast in his promise that his nation won’t pay for a wall along America’s southern border, “then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting” between the two leaders.

The warning, posted by Trump on Twitter Thursday morning, comes as tensions between the U.S. and its southern neighbor grow even more strained beneath the weight of the president’s campaign promises to get tough with Mexico on trade and immigration.

“The U.S. has a 60 billion dollar trade deficit with Mexico. It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of NAFTA with massive numbers of jobs and companies lost,” Trump wrote on Twitter, breaking his message up into multiple posts. “If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.”

Trump kicked off the process of constructing his long-promised border wall on Wednesday, signing an executive order to begin fulfilling one of the very first campaign promises he made. The president promised throughout his campaign that Mexico would pay for a “great wall” on the U.S. border, but since winning the White House, he has begun suggesting that U.S. taxpayers would front the money for the wall for expediency’s sake but will be reimbursed by the Mexican government.

Trump insisted in an interview that aired Wednesday on ABC News that Mexico will pay, albeit “perhaps a complicated form.” More broadly, Trump has railed against Mexico, suggesting that its leaders have taken advantage of the U.S. via the North American Free Trade Agreement, which the president has vowed to either renegotiate or back out of entirely.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/trump-mexico-border-wall-warning-234211

Nearly 700 miles of border fence already exist

ABC – President Donald Trump’s longtime campaign promise of building a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border could be one step closer to fruition after he signed an executive order announcing a series of steps to deter “illegal immigration from Central America.”

But some 700 miles of border fencing had already been completed along the country’s nearly 2,000-mile border with Mexico, much of it during Barack Obama’s presidency, as part of the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which was signed by George W. Bush.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/700-miles-fencing-us-mexico-border-exist/story?id=45045054

Pena Nieto to be among first global leaders to meet President Trump

In Mexico City, people demonstrate in response to Donald Trump's inauguration as U.S. president.  (Emily Green/ San Francisco Chronicle)
In Mexico City, people demonstrate in response to Donald Trump’s inauguration as U.S. president. (Emily Green/ San Francisco Chronicle)

By Michael O’Boyle / Reuters

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and U.S. President Donald Trump will meet at the end of this month to discuss trade, immigration and security issues, as the Latin American leader faces increased populist pressure at home.

Trump’s spokesman Sean Spicer told a news conference on Saturday that the two leaders will meet on Jan. 31, the week after senior officials of both administrations hold bilateral talks in Washington.

Trump is committed to renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and would move to withdraw if no “fair deal” is forthcoming, according to the White House website.

Pena Nieto, whose popularity has plummeted due to corruption scandals and rising inflation, has been criticized for lacking a clear strategy to counter Trump’s threats to crimp trade and deport illegal immigrants.

Seeking to capitalize on that discontent, Mexican 2018 presidential forerunner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Saturday said he would tour major U.S. cities starting in February.

“Enough of being passive,” Lopez Obrador of the leftist Moreno party said in a statement. “We should put a national emergency plan in place to face the damage and reverse the protectionist policies of Donald Trump.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-politics-idUSKBN1550R0

Mexico lays out cards for high stakes talks with Trump

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said "Mexico of course will not pay" for Donald Trump's border wall.  (AP Photo)
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said “Mexico of course will not pay” for Donald Trump’s border wall. (AP Photo)

Reuters

Mexico said on Wednesday it would throw its relationship with the United States wide open in talks with the incoming Trump administration, putting security, migration and trade on the table as it seeks to avoid a major economic shock.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has threatened to tear up a trade agreement that underpins Mexico’s export model if he cannot renegotiate its terms in his favor, battering the peso currency and fueling uncertainty over foreign investment.

President Enrique Pena Nieto said Mexico would take a broad approach to the challenge, seeking a settlement that would benefit both Mexico and the United States as he looks to carve out a platform that gives him room for maneuver in talks.

“All the issues that define our bilateral relationship are on the table, including security, migration and trade,” Pena Nieto said in a speech to diplomats in Mexico City, sketching out his negotiating position for the first time.

Reuters reported last month that Mexico’s government aimed to use security and migration to gain leverage over the United States in its talks with Trump, and could offer to reinforce its borders to get a better deal on trade.

Pena Nieto said Mexico would invest in a more secure border, but repeated his posture that it would not pay for the border wall Trump plans to build.

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/12/mexico-lays-out-cards-for-high-stakes-talks-with-trump.html

Pena Nieto faces unrest as gas prices climb and Trump ascends

A police officer throwing a stone at demonstrators protesting the rise of fuel prices in Puebla on Friday. (Jose Castanares/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)
A police officer throwing a stone at demonstrators protesting the rise of fuel prices in Puebla on Friday. (Jose Castanares/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)

By Kirk Semple and Elisabeth Malkin / New York Times

Amid nationwide marches, highway and border crossing blockades and looting stemming from widespread outrage over an increase in gas prices, President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico went on national television to appeal for understanding.

With international oil prices rising and Mexico dependent on gasoline imports, he argued in the speech on Thursday, the government had no alternative but to raise prices at the pump. “Here I ask you,” he said, gesturing at the camera, “what would you have done?”

It did not take long for him to get an answer, as social media erupted with suggestions and disgust.

Combat corruption and impunity. Eliminate gasoline vouchers for elected officials. Collect more taxes from multinational corporations. Cut the salaries and benefits of high-level government officials. Sell the presidential plane. Reduce the first lady’s wardrobe spending. Resign.

It was a tough week for the president, who seems to be trapped in a slow, downward spiral of unpopularity, with two more years left in his term and Mexico reeling from myriad problems including rampant corruption, resurgent homicide rates, a thriving drug trafficking industry, a sluggish economy and a plummeting peso.

http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/08/world/americas/unrest-mexico-pena-nieto-gas-prices-trump.html?_r=0