World America 09 Nov 2016 Mexico’s Presi ...

Mexico’s President reaches out to Trump, but won't pay for wall

Published Nov 9, 2016, 9:03 pm IST
Updated Nov 9, 2016, 9:04 pm IST
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. (Photo: AP)
 Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. (Photo: AP)

Mexico City: Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said Wednesday he was ready to work with Donald Trump but the country's foreign minister reiterated the government's refusal to pay for his planned border wall.

Trump's victory shocked Mexicans, who were angered by the Republican billionaire's description of migrants as rapists and drug dealers.

His defeat of Democrat Hillary Clinton in Tuesday's election caused the peso and the Mexican stock market to plunge due to fears that Trump would upend economic ties with the country.

"I congratulate the US on its electoral process and reiterate to @realDonaldTrump my willingness to work together in favor of bilateral relations," Pena Nieto said on Twitter.

"Mexico and the US are friends, partners and allies who must continue collaborating for the competitiveness and development of North America," he said.

Pena Nieto had angered Mexicans by inviting Trump to his official residence in Mexico City in August and not forcefully condemning the Republican candidate's comments against migrants.

Trump has vowed to make Mexico pay for a massive border wall -- which is estimated to cost several billions of dollars -- and to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

He also pledged to deport millions of undocumented immigrants and threatened to freeze billions in remittances that migrants send to their families back home.

"Paying for a wall is not part of our vision," Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu of Mexico told the Televisa network.

But she said the government has had a "daily fluid dialogue" with the Trump campaign and that the two countries were "not starting from zero."

"It's an opportunity. The terms of the relationship change," she said.

The national currency fell 7.81 percent to 20.22 pesos per dollar before day trade opened, while the Mexican stock market plunged 3.18 percent at the opening bell.

But Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade said the country's economy was robust enough to cope with the market upheaval.

"Mexico has lived through challenges of volatility in the past that we faced with unity, seizing on our economic strength and taking correct and prudent policy decisions, and this won't be an exception," Meade said at the National Palace.

Meade noted that the election would have no immediate impact on trade, financial flows or people's ability to travel. Mexico, he added, has inflation under control, controls deep international reserves totaling $175.1 billion and enjoys macroeconomic stability.

Meade said the strength of public and private financial institutions allowed the government to avoid taking "premature actions that move ahead of events that we don't know about at the moment."



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