Friday, 6 January 2017

[US]Donald Trump says American tax dollars will 'speed up' construction of wall between US and Mexico

US President-elect Donald Trump has announced American tax dollars will 'speed up' construction of the wall he wants built on the country's southern border.
The Republican's election pledge to 'build the wall' was frequently chanted by his supporters, and he has long insisted Mexico should pay for the wall – but in the last few days he has appeared to backtrack on the idea.
On Friday, 6 January, Trump suggested taxpayer money would get a wall built more quickly, although he insisted Mexico would reimburse the US once work had begun.
"[It is] in order to speed up the process," he told The New York Times. "We're going to get reimbursed. But I don't want to wait that long. But you start, and then you get reimbursed."
It emerged on Thursday that Trump intended to ask Congress to fund the wall, and he added in the newspaper interview on Friday that Mexico would eventually pay for the wall, as he had initially promised.
Such reimbursement would likely come from a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico, Trump suggested.
"It's going to be part of everything," Trump said of the cost of the wall.
"We are going to be making a much better deal. It's a deal that never should have been signed."
Any potential cost to the US is unlikely to be welcomed by Republicans, and will anger Trump supporters who were assured any funding for a wall on the US southern border would come from outside of the US.
However, convincing Mexico to incorporate funding of the wall into negotiations over trade may prove tricky, as there has been no enthusiasm for such a project from the country thus far.
Former President Vicente Fox responded uncompromisingly during an interview in February 2016, bluntly stating: "I'm not going to pay for that f***ing wall."
And Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto subsequently got into a Twitter spat with Trump in September over the wall.
After the two met, Peña Nieto wrote on Twitter: "At the start of the conversation with Donald Trump, I made it clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall."


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