- Title: Ex Mexican president Fox lambasts Trump's "useless" border wall
- Date: 27th January 2017
- Summary: SAN CRISTOBAL, GUANAJUATO, MEXICO (FILE - 2001) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF FOX AT NEWS CONFERENCE WITH THEN U.S. PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH
- Embargoed: 10th February 2017 02:21
- Keywords: ex president Vicente Fox Mexico border wall USA President Donald Trump
- Location: SAN CRISTOBAL, GUANAJUATO, CIUDAD JUAREZ, CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
- City: SAN CRISTOBAL, GUANAJUATO, CIUDAD JUAREZ, CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: Asylum/Immigration/Refugees,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00660PZ39J
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS PROFANITY
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL THAT WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3
Outspoken former Mexican president Vicente Fox on Thursday (January 26) lambasted President Donald Trump's plan for the Latin American country to pay for a border wall between the two neighbours, telling Reuters the American leader is facing defeat on the issue.
Earlier this week, President Donald Trump ordered construction of a wall along the roughly 2,000-mile (3,200-km) U.S.-Mexico border.
The White House on Thursday (January 26) then floated the idea of imposing a 20 percent tax on goods from Mexico to pay for a wall at the southern U.S. border, sending the peso plummeting and deepening a crisis between the two neighbours.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has been insistent that the country will not pay for the wall.
In strident terms, Fox also said that Trump's border construction plan was a waste of money.
"It is stupid. It is crazy. Imagine him going to Congress and saying to the American Congress to authorise a budget, to lend money to build a useless wall, a wall that is a complete waste of money and which is useless. And he (Trump) tells Congress not to worry, 'I will get Mexico to replace (the money) Mexico will pay for it.' Well Trump, here you go," he said.
Fox has been a vocal internet critic of Trump, using a profanity-laden hashtag to denounce the border wall.
Earlier in the day Trump tweeted that it would be better for President Pena Nieto not to come to Washington for talks if Mexico was insistent it would not pay for the wall.
Pena Nieto soon after cancelled the meeting.
Fox told Reuters that this was a defeat for Trump.
"I am sure that Trump needs to take a step back. He has suffered his first defeat which he did not want and that was the cancellation of Pena Nieto's visit. Trump has lied again saying that it was a mutual agreement, which is not true. It is a great defeat that he cannot take. His pride, his arrogance does not allow it," he added.
The plan being weighed by the U.S. House of Republicans would exempt export revenues from taxation but impose a 20 percent tax on imported goods, a significant change from current U.S. policy.
Countries like Mexico would not pay such taxes directly. Companies would face the tax if they import products made there into the United States, potentially raising prices for American consumers.
The idea is unpopular with retailers and businesses that sell imported goods in the United States. It also has met opposition from some lawmakers worried about the impact on U.S. consumers.
With bilateral trade between the United States and Mexico valued at over $500 billion annually, Fox said that no one will emerge victorious in a trade war.
"With what Trump is promoting, we will all lose. Mexico loses, the United States loses, investors in corporate America. And the whole world loses. That is not what we want, nobody wants this. That is why there is only one objective and that is to stop Trump, domesticate him, to calm him down. Get him to stay quiet. Get him to work and stop selling populist miracles to the world," he declared.
Fox called on Mexico to rally against Trump and his border wall.
"This protest should be directed at the true enemy of Mexico, against this threat that comes from abroad. I think that every Mexican from every sector should grab a Mexican flag and take a sign that says no to Trump, no to your fucking wall," said the former president.
Relations between Mexico and the USA have been frayed since Trump launched his presidential campaign in 2015, characterising Mexican immigrants as murderers and rapists. His trade rhetoric has hit the Mexican economy, causing consumers to rein in spending and foreign businesses to wait on new investments, according to the International Monetary Fund.
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