Mexico's president cancels meeting with President Trump after border wall executive order

It wasn't immediately clear what the pair talked about - or how cordially they greeted one another - but the call follows growing tensions between the North American neighbors.

"Far from uniting us, it divides us", he said.

Nieto had earlier scrapped plans to meet Trump next week after the United States president tweeted Mexico should cancel the meeting if it was not prepared to pay for his proposed border wall.

Pena Nieto was roundly criticized after inviting candidate Trump to Mexico City last August and disappointed many of his countrymen by not publicly confronting Trump on the wall.

The government there has repeatedly rejected Trump's insistence that Mexico would pay for it.

President Trump spoke by phone to President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico for an hour on Friday, according to statements by both leaders.

"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. After questions were raised, the White House initially said a 20 per cent tariff on Mexican imports to the U.S would fund the wall.

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Mexico's president on Thursday scrapped a planned summit with Donald Trump in the face of insistent tweets from the USA president demanding Mexico pay for a border wall, a spat that threatens Mexican efforts to salvage trade ties. Garcia de Alba reiterates immigration into the USA from Mexico has been steadily declining since 2008, and requests for dual citizenship is up 20 percent.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the U.S. is open to rescheduling the meeting, initially planned for Tuesday.

"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", he said.

Mexico and the United States will be stuck at an impasse unless they solve Mr Trump's "unacceptable" demand of payment for the border wall, Mexico's Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said.

The rift between the neighbours and trade partners has deepened just days into Mr Trump's presidency. The U.S. trade deficit with Mexico is about $60 billion.

"A nation without borders is not a nation", Mr Trump said, echoing former president Ronald Reagan, as he visited the Department of Homeland Security to sign two executive orders.

Mexico was the third largest US trading partner with $482 billion in goods trade previous year up to November.

  • Rita Burton