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.