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The Mexican government has made its first public response to Donald Trump’s assertions that he would not only build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but also make Mexico pay for it.
“I say it emphatically and categorically: Mexico, under no circumstance, is going to pay for the wall that Mr. Trump is proposing,” the Mexican treasury secretary, Luis Videgaray, said late last week to Milenio television.
ABC News reports that Trump’s wall proposal has been vehemently criticized across the political spectrum in Mexico, but that the government’s official position was that it was not going to engage in a debate with a presidential hopeful in another country.
Videgary’s comments come one day after Francisco Guzmán of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s office told reporters that the government was not interested in engaging in verbal skirmishes with U.S. politicians. He said the Mexican government would instead reach out to the American public by providing more information about the border situation to Mexican consulates in the United States, and making such information readily available to those interested in it.
“Building a wall between Mexico and the United States is a very bad idea, it is an idea based in ignorance and that is not supported by the reality of North American integration,” Videgaray said. He said there was no way that Mexican taxpayers could pay for that sort of project.
According to Homeland Security News Wire, the Mexican government has more generally responded to statements made by Trump by reminding Americans of the economic contributions to the United States made by Mexicans and Mexican-Americans.
The trade between the two countries amounts to more than $500 billion annually.