After talks, Mexico says at 'impasse' with Trump over wall payment

Experts have voiced doubts about whether a wall would actually stem illegal immigration, or if it is worth spending billions on a wall when there are cheaper methods, such as electronic surveillance, of achieving similar results.

Far more damaging, to American principles and the nation's standing in the world, would be actions outlined in a draft executive order, apparently awaiting Trump's signature, that would drastically curtail the United States' commitment to accept refugees from Muslim-majority countries in the Mideast, especially Syria, most of whom are fleeing terrorism. Mexico was the largest supplier of fresh produce to the 2012; U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics indicate that 69 percent of fresh vegetables and 37 percent of fresh fruit imports came across the southern border.

U.S. President Donald Trump said he had a friendly phone call with Mexico's president on Friday but asserted he will renegotiate trade deals and other aspects of the countries' ties because Mexico has "beat us to a pulp" in the past.

Despite the controversial nature of the proposal, which is likely to be met by stiff opposition from business leaders in the US, Spicer said the proposal is one "we've been in close contact with both houses (of Congress) in moving forward and creating a plan".

Trump aides have weighed increasing border tariffs or border transit costs as one way to "make Mexico pay".

Asked whether the Mexico would walk away from talks if the wall and remittances are an issue, Guajardo said: "Absolutely".

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto did not take kindly to Trump's message.

"I've said many times that the American people will not pay for the wall", Mr Trump told the gathering.

"I respectfully suggest that the government of Mexico presents a lawsuit at the United Nations against the USA government for violation of human rights and racial discrimination", Mr. Lopez Obrador told a crowd of supporters north of Mexico City.

Trump has also floated the idea of a ban on Muslims coming to the United States.

An estimated 18,000 Syrians have fled to the United States.

Slim said he had not had contact with Trump since then.

Former US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro criticized Netanyahu's remarks on Twitter with tweets of his own.

But Trump also moved swiftly to announce a new era.

Although critical of Trump during the USA election campaign, the two men met for dinner in Florida in December, which Trump described as "a lovely dinner with a wonderful man".

Slim predicted, as he has done previously, that the US will need a larger workforce if the economy grows as Trump has forecast, "and without a doubt Mexico is their best partner". This will not stand.

  • David Armstrong