President Trump is 0-2 in his attempts to meet with the Mexican President, America’s most important neighbor to the South.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto called off tentative plans to visit the White House after another testy call with Trump earlier in the week. President Trump, self-proclaimed “Dealmaker” and author of “The Art Of The Deal”, was unable to even get a first meeting scheduled, the very first step of any negotiating process. This is the second time Trump botched a telephone call which resulted in the a breakdown of discussions with the Mexican President. Mexican President cancels trip after call with Trump.
This time, President Peña Nieto was considering an official trip to the White House in February or March but called off the plan after Trump refused to agree to publicly affirm Mexico’s position that it wouldn’t pay for a wall betwen the US and Mexico. The two presidents reportedly spoke by phone for nearly an hour last week, and neither would budge on the matter. For Mexico, the wall is considered offensive, and it is simply unacceptable for them to discuss the possibility of Mexico paying for it. For Trump, he pledged repeatedly during his campaign that Mexico would pay for the wall, a pledge that seems to be a big deal for his supporters.
“The problem is that President Trump has painted himself, President Peña Nieto and the bilateral relationship into a corner,” Arturo Sarukhan, a former Mexican ambassador to the US said. “Even from the get-go, the idea of Mexico paying for the wall was never going to fly. His relationship with Mexico isn’t strategically driven. It’s not even business; it’s personal, driven by motivations and triggers, and that’s a huge problem. It could end up with the US asking itself, ‘Who lost Mexico?’”
In January 2017, soon after Trump’s inauguration, the pair engaged in a highly publicized back-and-forth over payment for the wall. Trump signed an executive order to increase America’s deportation force and start its construction, which prompted Peña Nieto to deliver a video message promising to protect the Mexican people and immigrants and saying that Mexico wouldn’t pay for the wall. Trump responded on Twitter, daring Peña Nieto to call off the meeting, which he did.Tweet