Trump Speaks With Mexico's President by Phone
But it's not clear whether they smoothed things over
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 27, 2017 12:40 PM CST
In this August 2016 file photo, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump walks with Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto in Mexico City.   (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills, File)

(Newser) – President Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto spoke for an hour by phone Friday amid rising tensions over the US leader's plans for a border wall, administration officials told the AP. Trump and Pena Nieto had been expected to meet in Washington next week, but the Mexican president abruptly canceled his visit on Thursday. His decision came after Trump moved forward with plans to construct a wall along the US-Mexico border and have Mexico pay for construction. Details about the conversation were not released, reports the Washington Post, and it was unclear whether tensions were eased.

The strong reaction from Mexico signaled a remarkable souring of relations between Washington and one of its most important international partners just days into the new administration. The US and Mexico conduct some $1.6 billion a day in cross-border trade, and cooperate on everything from migration to drug enforcement to major environmental issues. Trump continues to insist that Mexico will pay for the wall, and one possibility being considered is to take the money from a 20% tax on Mexican imports. As the New York Times points out, that would allow Trump to say Mexico paid for it, and it would allow Mexico to avoid cutting a check.

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