Mexican President cancels U.S. trip after call with Trump

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto holds a Mexican flag during Flag Day celebrations in Mexico Saturday. Edgard Garrido Reuters

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto holds a Mexican flag during Flag Day celebrations in Mexico Saturday. Edgard Garrido Reuters

Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto has called off a trip to Washington to meet with President Trump. "It's not even business; it's personal, driven by motivations and triggers, and that's a huge problem", he said, adding that, "It could end up with the United States asking itself, 'Who lost Mexico?'" cited by the Washington Post.

Mr. Trump and Pena Nieto spoke on February 20, the White House said in a statement at the time. After announcing he would not attend the White House meeting, Nieto promised the Mexican people the nation would not pay for any part of the wall - a reference to one of Trump's key campaign promises regarding its construction.

Speaking by phone on Tuesday, Peña Nieto and Trump devoted a considerable portion of their roughly 50 minute conversation to the wall, and neither man would compromise his position. Trump offered condolences after a military helicopter carrying officials assessing natural disaster damage crashed in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, killing 13 people, and Pena Nieto offered condolences over last week's Florida school shooting that left 17 people dead.

Mexico, Trump has committed, will somehow end up paying for the border wall, whether that comes in the form of taxing remittances to have illegal aliens from Mexico actually pay for the wall or tariffs on imported goods from Mexico. In a leaked a transcript of a call between the leaders around that time, Trump told his Mexican counterpart that he had to make Mexico pay for the wall as he had promised, and "if you are going to say that Mexico is not going to pay for the wall, then I do not want to meet with you guys anymore because I can not live with that".

The leaders met in Germany at the Group of 20 economic summit in July. Trump also met the Mexican president once during the 2016 election campaign.

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