Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Thursday cancelled a planned January 31 meeting with President Donald J. Trump, hours after Trump tweeted that the meeting should be scrapped if Mexico won't pay for a border wall.
Pena Nieto canceled a planned trip to Washington to talk with Trump about relations between the two countries and talk of a trade war caused the peso to take a dive and gains in the US stock market to slow down.
The war of words between President Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto flew on Twitter and moved from the border wall to trade tariffs on Thursday.
The border wall with Mexico-and the promise that "Mexico will pay for it"-was one of the pillars of Trump's presidential campaign".
"This morning we informed the White House that I will not attend the work meeting planned for next Tuesday with the POTUS", Pena Nieto said on Twitter, referring to Trump.
House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, asked if lawmakers were anxious about the USA relationship with Mexico, said, "I think we'll be fine". "Mexico does not believe in walls". Trump has estimated that the cost will be about $8 billion for the wall but many say this is too low.
"Part of our goal today was to demonstrate that there is an easy way - or several ways - tone is to generate the reviews because the cost of the wall in the big picture is really not that significant", Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.
"This is a big opportunity for President Pena, personally, to recuperate his leadership in Mexico", he said. "We have to back the Mexican president to defend our national interests", he said.
Usually reclusive Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim felt it his patriotic duty to hold a press conference January 27 to address his nation's freaked-out state after a week of a Donald Trump presidency.
Trump then reiterated the call for Mexico to foot the bill.
'All it is, is we'll be reimbursed at a later date from whatever transaction we make from Mexico. He often led his supporters in chants of "build the wall, build the wall".
"Most illegal immigration is coming from our southern border", Trump said.
Trump has also vowed to renegotiate NAFTA, the free trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Pena Nieto took to social media on Thursday to announce the cancellation.
US taxpayers would have to front the cost of at least $10 billion.
Companies would face the tax if they import products made there into the USA, potentially raising prices for USA consumers.