Many murders maim Mexican election

Mexico is having an election this weekend for positions ranging from president to local mayors.

Corruption and violence are major issues, both argued in campaigns and evident with over 100 election related murders claimed. If candidates can’t be bought off they are knocked off.

CNN: Mexico goes to the polls this weekend. 132 politicians have been killed since campaigning began, per one count

Even for a country numbed by escalating violence, the toll the campaign season in Mexico has exacted is horrifying.

In the nine months leading up to this weekend’s presidential election, 132 politicians have been killed. That’s according to Etellekt, a risk analysis and crisis management firm.

The group’s report, released Tuesday, found that 22 of Mexico’s 31 states have seen a political assassination since campaigning began in September.

Etellekt’s tally found 48 of the victims were candidates. The rest included party workers.

Forty eight murdered candidates. That is an horrific war on democracy.

Reuters:  A look at Mexico’s presidential contenders ahead of key election

The four main candidates have sparred over key issues of corruption, security and the economy.

The front runner is the left wing Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador…

… known as AMLO, enjoys a more than 20-point lead in most polls, running on an anti-corruption platform with his National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) party.

The former Mexico City mayor has capitalized on widespread anger over years of rampant corruption and violence, but has been vague on policy details. Seeking to corral support from economic nationalists, leftist liberals and social conservatives, he has pledged to combat inequality, improve pay and welfare spending, as well as run a tight budget.

He could usher in a Mexican government less accommodating toward the United States, where U.S. President Donald Trump has stoked trade tensions with Mexico and aggressively moved to curb immigration.

Trump has labelled illegal immigrants as dangerous criminals, but they are more likely to be trying to escape violence and corruption.

Ricardo Anaya…

His main proposals include increasing the minimum wage, raising public spending to reach 5 percent of gross domestic product by 2021, and forming an international commission to investigate the current government over corruption allegations.

He has also indicated he would take a firm line with Trump.

Jose Antonio Meade…

During the campaign he said he would expand the conditional cash transfer program “Prospera” to include 2 million more families. Has also vowed to extend social security to cover domestic workers.

Meade led a campaign to strip politicians of immunity but has been unwilling to criticize outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto, whose PRI government has faced multiple corruption allegations.

Corruption is a common theme.

Known as “El Bronco,” Jaime Rodriguez …

…shocked voters in one of the televised debates when he advocated chopping off the hands of those who steal — including public servants.

… polls estimate he will get between 1 and 6 percent of the vote.

So a violent approach to justice doesn’t seem to be very popular.

Mexico has huge domestic problems, especially involving drugs, corruption and violence. Those who survive the election may struggle to make any real difference.

Border control and caging kids

US border control has been in the spotlight more than ever, as a promised clampdown on illegal immigration from Mexico ramps up, and as threatened, children are being separated from parents and contained in cage-like structures.

Being tough on immigration is popular, but being heartless with kids involved is not going down so well.

As usual Donald Trump’s rhetoric is swinging wildly – From ‘I Alone Can Fix It’ to ‘Change the Laws!’

Nearly two years ago, on July 21, 2016, Donald Trump stood at a lectern in Cleveland and made a solemn vow.

“Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it,” he said.

To his critics, this line was chilling, even authoritarian, defying the democratic nature of the American system. But to many of Trump’s supporters, it was a heartening moment—a sign that he would not allow himself to be tied up in red tape and mealy-mouthed excuses. There would be none of the vacillating and hand-wringing of the Obama administration. President Trump would not hesitate.

Candidate Trump was clear that he was talking, in large part, about immigration, which had been the central issue of his campaign:

Tonight, I want every American whose demands for immigration security have been denied—and every politician who has denied them—to listen very closely to the words I am about to say. On January 21st of 2017, the day after I take the oath of office, Americans will finally wake up in a country where the laws of the United States are enforced. We are going to be considerate and compassionate to everyone.

So Trump promised to be both tough and compassionate.

But his administration also threatened that their children would be separated if illegal immigrants tried to cross the border.

In fact, as my colleagues and I have reported repeatedly, the policy dates to May, when Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the federal government would prosecute everyone caught crossing the border illegally. Because an existing legal settlement bars children from being imprisoned, that decision means children and parents are separated. The Trump administration knew this would happen from the start.

In May, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly described separations as “a tough deterrent” to those who might try to cross. Sessions said around the same time, “If you don’t want your child separated, then don’t bring them across the border illegally.”

There were clear warnings – those wanting to cross the border may not have heard them, but the intention was clear.

Image result for caging children usa

And now that this is being done and criticism mounts – including from Trump’s wife and all four other living ex- First Ladies – Mr Fixit is now blaming others.

Trump and the Republicans rule in the White House.

Republicans have a majority in both the Senate and Congress.

So it’s rather disingenuous to blame a clearly signalled family separation policy on the Democrats who have no power to change laws.

But that’s how Trump operates – talks a big game, but blames his political opponents or the media if things don’t look good.

The US has had very loose immigration control for a long time and a clampdown is justified. The splitting of children from parents as a threat tactic is more debatable.

But Trump hasn’t got the integrity to own his administration’s actions.

‘Caging’ kids is not even new. June 2014 (pre-Trump): Immigrant children flood detention center

Young boys sleep in a holding cell U.S. Customs and

Holding cell, US Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center, 18 June 2014.
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/childrens-concentration-camp/

Trump could blame a Democrat administration for doing it too, but instead he tries to blame them now for something his administration is responsible for it.

Mexico earthquake

The extent of damage and the death toll from thoday’s 7.1 earthquake in Mexico won’t become clear for a day or two, but it looks very bad, with widespread damage reported and over 200 deaths recorded so far. With many collapsed buildings it will get worse.

Guardian:  At least 217 dead after powerful earthquake hits central Mexico

The 7.1 magnitude earthquake is deadliest to hit country in more than 30 years and has brought down buildings in the capital, Mexico City

Emergency crews and ordinary people are digging through rubble with their bare hands in search of trapped survivors after a powerful earthquake stuck central Mexico on Tuesday afternoon, toppling dozens of buildings and killing at least 217 people

The magnitude 7.1 quake – the deadliest to hit the nation since 1985 – struck shortly after 1pm local time, causing violent, prolonged shaking which flattened buildings and sent masonry tumbling onto streets, crushing cars and people in the capital, Mexico City, and surrounding areas.

CNN Seismologist: What caused Mexico’s latest earthquake

Plate tectonics was the engine behind the shaking, as is true for all major earthquakes. Along the coast of Mexico, the Cocos Plate slides underneath the North American Plate, moving about three inches per year. Tuesday’s earthquake, however, was caused by crumpling arising from the downward bending of the sinking Cocos Plate, rather than directly by slippage between plates.

A similarly deep but much larger magnitude 8.1-earthquake struck two weeks ago, also from the crumpling of the Cocos Plate. It struck Mexico 400 miles to the southeast and offshore, not far from Guatemala, and killed dozens of people.

In the history of Mexican earthquakes, Tuesday’s was coincidentally the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 Michoacan earthquake, which resulted in thousands of deaths. The 1985 earthquake was the more typical great earthquake that breaks the boundary between the plates, and caused great devastation in Mexico City despite being more than 100 miles distant.

Mexico City’s downtown area is notoriously vulnerable to earthquakes because of the very soft and wet ground underneath. Its soil amplifies shaking like Jell-O on a plate, and is prone to liquefaction, which is the ability to transform dirt into a dense liquid when sufficiently churned. In the 1985 earthquake, many large buildings were destroyed, and Tuesday’s quake was another blow mostly to the older, less solidly constructed structures.

We’ve learnt a lot about building on soft ground and the risks of liquefaction after Christchurch.

 

Mexican earthquake

Yesterday there was a major 8.1 earthquake centred just off the coats of souther Mexico. there have been many aftershocks in the 4-5.7 range.

CNN: Mexico’s strongest earthquake in a century leaves dozens dead
At least 38 people have died after the most powerful earthquake to hit Mexico in a century struck off the southern coast.

The magnitude-8.1 quake, which was felt as far as Mexico City and Guatemala City, was registered off Mexico’s southern coast just as heavy rains from Hurricane Katia lashed the east. The epicenter was in the Pacific Ocean, some 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) southeast of the capital and 74 miles (120 kilometers) off the coast.

President Enrique Peña Nieto said the temblor — felt by about 50 million people across the country — was the strongest earthquake Mexico has experienced in 100 years. In September 1985, a magnitude-8.0 earthquake killed an estimated 9,500 people in and around Mexico City.

This one hit late Thursday, when many people were asleep. The states of Chiapas and Oaxaca, home to about 9 million people, are located closest to the earthquake’s epicenter. They are two of the most impoverished areas in Mexico, and were likely hit the hardest.

At least 25 people were killed in Oaxaca state, according to the Oaxaca Civil Protection Agency. Ten others died in Chiapas state and three were killed in Tabasco, local officials said.

MexicoEarthquake

This shows the number of aftershocks and also the proximity to a plate boundary:

MexicoEarthquakePlate

The plate boundaries in the region:

Image result for mexico plate boundaries

So similar to the west coast of the South Island, the Cocos Plate is driving underneath the Caribbean Plate, but there is also a collision with the North American Plate near to where these earthquakes are occurring.

Trump’s wall getting shorter

In an interview recently President Trump said that the Mexican border wall may not go the whole distance.

Q You were joking about solar, right?

THE PRESIDENT: No, not joking, no. There is a chance that we can do a solar wall. We have major companies looking at that. Look, there’s no better place for solar than the Mexico border — the southern border. And there is a very good chance we can do a solar wall, which would actually look good. But there is a very good chance we could do a solar wall.

One of the things with the wall is you need transparency. You have to be able to see through it. In other words, if you can’t see through that wall — so it could be a steel wall with openings, but you have to have openings because you have to see what’s on the other side of the wall.

And I’ll give you an example. As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them — they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It’s over. As crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall.

As crazy as it sounds for sure.

But we have some incredible designs.

But we are seriously looking at a solar wall. And remember this, it’s a 2,000 mile border, but you don’t need 2,000 miles of wall because you have a lot of natural barriers. You have mountains. You have some rivers that are violent and vicious. You have some areas that are so far away that you don’t really have people crossing. So you don’t need that. But you’ll need anywhere from 700 to 900 miles.

There is already close to 700 miles of fence and wall  – as of May 2015, DHS had installed (Current state of the border fence):

  • 353 miles of Primary Pedestrian Fencing.
  • 36 miles of Secondary Fencing.
  • 14 miles of Tertiary Pedestrian Fencing.
  • 300 miles of Vehicle Fencing.

Plus we have some wall that’s already up that we’re already fixing. You know, we’ve already started the wall because we’re fixing large portions of wall right now. We’re taking wall that was good but it’s in very bad shape, and we’re making it new. We’re fixing it. It’s already started. So we’ve actually, in the true sense — you know, there’s no reason to take it down or ***. So in a true sense, we’ve already started the wall.

So the wall may not go the whole distance.

And it will be a see through wall so you can avoid being hit by a thrown sack of drugs.

This is apparently for real.

More interview here: Previously off-the-record White House transcript

July 12, 2017
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP
IN AN OFF-THE-RECORD CONVERSATION WITH PRESS
Aboard Air Force One En Route Paris, France

 

Labour support trans-Pacific trade alliance

The Government is reported to be close to signing up for a trade deal with countries across the other side of the Pacific. And the Labour Party is supportive.

NZ Herald:  Labour says it will support a trade deal with Pacific Alliance

New Zealand is on the cusp of signing a significant free trade deal with Latin American and South American countries.

The Pacific Alliance, which is made up of Chile, Mexico, Colombia and Peru is expected to announce tomorrow morning whether it will enter formal negotiations on a new deal with New Zealand.

New Zealand would be the first country to secure a free trade agreement with the trading bloc, which is currently worth $1.1 billion in two-way trade.

Trade Minister Todd McClay is in Cali, Colombia, speaking to his counterparts from the four countries in a bid to get the negotiations underway.

Mexico and Chile were in the Trans-Pacific Partnership that has stalled now the US has withdrawn.

Unlike the TPP Labour are supporting this one:

The Labour Party said today it would support a Pacific Alliance agreement, which means any deal is likely to survive if the Government changes in September.

Foreign affairs spokesman David Parker said that like New Zealand, these four countries were looking towards Asia for trade.

“They are doing good things through that alliance to reduce trade barriers, which also affect New Zealand. So we are supportive of that.”

His party’s main concern was about any provisions which allowed investors from the alliance countries to buy land and houses in New Zealand.

Labour was also concerned about any investor-state dispute settlement provisions, which McClay confirmed would be a part of an FTA with the alliance.

Parker said Labour’s main focus if in power would be to advance a trade deal with the EU.

But a deal with the EU is likely to take quite a while.

An interesting stance by Labour – is it because the US is not a part of it?

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters was more sceptical about an FTA with the Latin American and South American countries, saying that growth in those regions had been stagnant for 30 years and that New Zealand should be dealing with bigger economies in the Americas like Brazil.

He did not necessarily oppose a deal with Pacific Alliance grouping, but said he would first want to be certain that the deal was not simply “hype and presentation” and that it was in New Zealand’s interests.

Very vague.

Todd McClay has been very busy since he took over Trade from Tim Groser at the end of 2015.

Trump withdraws threat to withdraw from NAFTA

Yesterday it was being reported that a White House official had indicated that Donald Trump was likely to sign an order beginning the process for the US to withdraw from the NAFTA trade agreement.

That appears to have been a bluff, or Trump has reconsidered.

Trump has more or less confirmed that, but now says he has held off doing that pending negotiations with Canada and Mexico, but Trump has left a threat to withdraw hovering over talks.

Bloomberg: Trump Says Nafta Pullout Still Possible If Renegotiation Fails

President Donald Trump said Thursday he’s still ready to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement if he can’t renegotiate better terms for the U.S. but that he decided to hold off on a decision after appeals from the leaders of Canada and Mexico.

“I was going to terminate NAFTA as of two or three days from now,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. But he said he reconsidered after Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau both phoned him Wednesday asking him to renegotiate the deal instead. Those talks will start as soon as today, he said.

Trump also said a quick U.S. withdrawal “would be a pretty big shock to the system.”

But Trump… added that “If I’m unable to make a fair deal for the United States–meaning a fair deal for our workers and our companies, I will terminate NAFTA.”

So the threat is still there. That seems to be how Trump likes to ‘negotiate’. And how he deals with ‘promises’.

Back in December:  Trump’s stance on NAFTA was a ‘campaign promise designed to be broken’

President-elect Donald Trump’s vow to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, would have a detrimental impact on the United States’ automobile industry and its jobs, VLF Automotive CEO Bob Lutz told CNBC on Friday.

Once Trump looks at the impact of the goals he voiced on the campaign trail, he will find a way out of pushing the auto industry into disarray, Lutz said on CNBC’s “Power Lunch.”

“I have every confidence that this is a campaign promise that is designed to be broken,” Lutz said.

“Trump is a reasonable, good, analytical businessman. Once he takes an earnest look at pluses and minuses of dealing with NAFTA and sees what the impact on American jobs [is],” he’ll find a way to roll back any promise of dismantling the agreement, Lutz contended.

The problem with Trump’s argument that producing car parts abroad constitutes unfair trade practices is that there are international systems in place that are mutually beneficial, said Lutz, who was formerly the vice chairman of General Motors.

So those who voted for Trump based on his promises may have to get used to his wheeling and dealing and flip flopping.

The North American Free Trade Agreement came into force on 1994.

Most economic analyses indicate that NAFTA has been a small net positive for the United States, large net positive for Mexico and had an insignificant impact on Canada.

Chad P. Bown (senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics): “a renegotiated NAFTA that would reestablish trade barriers is unlikely to help workers who lost their jobs — regardless of the cause — take advantage of new employment opportunities.”

Harvard economist Marc Melitz: “recent research estimates that the repeal of NAFTA would not increase car production in the United States.” Melitz notes that this would cost manufacturing jobs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Free_Trade_Agreement

Reaction to 20% trade tariff suggestion

While White House press secretary Sean Spicer has retreated from his initial suggestions that a 20% trade tariff could be considered on imports from Mexico as a way of paying for a wall between the US and Mexico, the idea has prompted consternation and condemnation in the US and around the world, including in New Zealand.

RNZ: US tariffs on Mexico could hurt Fisher & Paykel

Punitive tariffs by the United States on Mexico could rebound on a major New Zealand company, according to its managers in Auckland.

US President Donald Trump has talked of imposing a 20 percent tariff on Mexican exports to the US as a way of making Mexico pay for a wall being planned for the US-Mexican border.

Since that tariff idea was first unveiled, the White House has back-pedalled slightly, saying it is an option, not a proposal.

But the mere possibility of a tariff has hit the New Zealand firm Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, which manufactures goods for the American market in the Mexican town of Tijuana.

News of a possible tariff caused its shares to fall 3.06 percent yesterday.

Loose talk from White House press secretaries can have quick and widespread effects.

And it has prompted strong criticism in the US. Politico: Major newspaper editorial boards blast Trump’s border ‘war’

The plan amounts to a “tariff tantrum,” The New York Times wrote in its editorial, while The Wall Street Journal labeled the week-old administration’s efforts at international negotiations “amateur hour.” Trump’s rhetoric, wrote The Washington Post, is “a stick of dynamite” inserted into mutually beneficial relationship that politicians from both countries have worked years to build.

Despite Trump claiming in a media conference a short time ago (with Theresa May) that he thinks he has a good relationship with the Mexican president:

Trump’s already strained relationship with Mexico descended to a new low on Thursday, with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto canceling a planned visit to Washington next week (Trump claimed that the decision to cancel the trip was mutual).

The president has promised from the very beginning of his campaign that the border wall would be paid for not by U.S. taxpayers but by the Mexican government. Peña Nieto has been unflinching in his response, insisting at every turn that under no circumstances will Mexico pay for the wall.

As a means of extracting payment, White House press secretary Sean Spicer suggested Thursday that the U.S. might levy a 20 percent tax on all Mexican imports, though he later pulled back that assertion.

Such a move would require the U.S. to back out of the North American Free Trade Agreement, a trade deal that Trump railed against on the campaign trail and has pledged either to renegotiate or to leave entirely. Extricating the U.S. from NAFTA could have severe economic consequences, threatening continent-wide supply chains fostered by North American free trade over the past 23 years and with them, the millions of American jobs that depend on exporting goods to Canada and Mexico.

Imposing such an import on Mexican goods, the Times noted, could create a shortage of fresh fruits and vegetables in American grocery stores and drive up the price of many other consumer goods made in Mexico. Ultimately, the Times’ editorial board wrote, “a tax on Mexican imports would be paid by American consumers and businesses that buy those goods. Americans would pay for the wall, not Mexicans.”

The Post agreed, writing that while a tariff could extract some money from Mexico, “it also would likely act as a tax on American consumers of Mexican goods. American consumers, that is, would pay for the wall by paying higher prices for Mexican-grown tomatoes, Mexican-sewn clothing and Mexican-built cars.”

The Wall Street Journal:

“Mr. Trump said as a candidate that he’d treat America’s friends better than Mr. Obama did, but his first move has been to treat Mexico like Mr. Obama treated Israel. On present course he may get comparable results, or worse.”

It looks like Trump and his administration are rushing things far too much, and thinking through the possible ramifications of what they say publicly far too little.

Mexican president calls off Washington visit

Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto has called off a meeting planned for next week with US president Donald Trump in Washington after Trump tweeted:

The U.S. has a 60 billion dollar trade deficit with Mexico. It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of NAFTA with massive numbers of jobs and companies lost. If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.

Peña Nieto responded on Twitter:

This morning we told the White House we won’t attend next Tuesday’s meeting with @POTUS. Mexico reiterates its will to work with the US to achieve agreements for both of us.

A new way of doing international diplomacy.

From Politico: Mexican president cancels Trump meeting in Washington

Trump kicked off the process of constructing his long-promised border wall on Wednesday, signing an executive order to begin fulfilling one of the very first campaign promises he made. The president promised throughout his campaign that Mexico would pay for a “great wall” on the U.S. border, but since winning the White House, he has begun suggesting that U.S. taxpayers would front the money for the wall for expediency’s sake but will be reimbursed by the Mexican government.

There is also growing trade tension between Mexico and the US.

Beyond upsetting America’s neighbors, a move by the Trump administration to back out of NAFTA entirely could have its own dramatic set of economic consequences. Such a decision could upset international supply chains that stretch across North America that have been developed in the 23 years since NAFTA was enacted. Those supply chains support some 14 million American jobs that depend on trade with Canada and Mexico.

Top Mexican government officials were already in Washington on Wednesday, hammering out plans for Peña Nieto to visit Washington next week, although Trump’s executive orders only added to the pressure on Mexico’s president to cancel that trip.

Peña Nieto has been adamant on the wall.

I regret and reproach the decision of the United States to build a wall that for many years, far from uniting us, has divided us. Mexico does not believe in walls. I’ve said it many times before — Mexico will not pay for a wall.

From an ABC interview with Trump:

DAVID MUIR: Mr. President, I want to start — we’re five days in. And your campaign promises. I know today you plan on signing the order to build the wall.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Correct.

DAVID MUIR: Are you going to direct U.S. funds to pay for this wall? Will American taxpayers pay for the wall?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Ultimately it’ll come out of what’s happening with Mexico. We’re gonna be starting those negotiations relatively soon. And we will be in a form reimbursed by Mexico which I will say …

DAVID MUIR: So, they’ll pay us back?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah, absolutely, 100 percent.

DAVID MUIR: So, the American taxpayer will pay for the wall at first?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: All it is, is we’ll be reimbursed at a later date from whatever transaction we make from Mexico. Now, I could wait a year and I could hold off the wall. But I wanna build the wall. We have to build the wall. We have to stop drugs from pouring in. We have to stop people from just pouring into our country. We have no idea where they’re from. And I campaigned on the wall. And it’s very important. But that wall will cost us nothing.

DAVID MUIR: But you talked — often about Mexico paying for the wall. And you, again, say they’ll pay us back. Mexico’s president said in recent days that Mexico absolutely will not pay, adding that, “It goes against our dignity as a country and our dignity as Mexicans.” He says …

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: David, he has to say that. He has to say that. But I’m just telling you there will be a payment. It will be in a form, perhaps a complicated form. And you have to understand what I’m doing is good for the United States. It’s also going to be good for Mexico.

We wanna have a very stable, very solid Mexico. Even more solid than it is right now. And they need it also. Lots of things are coming across Mexico that they don’t want. I think it’s going to be a good thing for both countries. And I think the relationship will be better than ever before.

The relationship doesn’t look very good at the moment.

Trump’s Mexico wall

Donald Trump has started to initiate the building of US/Mexico wall, but details are still vague, including costs, time frame and how it will be paid for.

Politico: Trump signs orders on border wall, immigration crackdown

President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed a sweeping set of immigration-related executive actions jumpstarting a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, cracking down on sanctuary cities, and directing significant resources toward swifter deportations for undocumented immigrants.

“I just signed two executive orders that will save thousands of lives, millions of jobs and billions and billions of dollars,” Trump declared during remarks at DHS. He added, “By working together, safe borders and economic cooperation, I truly believe we can enhance the relation between our two nations, to a degree not seen before, certainly, in a very, very long time. I think our relationship with Mexico is going to get better.”

The ‘economic co-operation’ seems to involve scrapping trade agreements and forcing US companies to pull their manufacturing out of Mexico.

USAMexico.jpg

BBC: Mexico: We will not pay for Trump border wall

Mexico will not pay for Donald Trump’s border wall, the country’s president has said in a message to the nation.

Mr Pena Nieto said: “I’ve said time and again; Mexico won’t pay for any wall.

“It comes as our country is talking on new rules on cooperation, trade, investment, security and migration in the North American region.

“As president I assume the complete responsibility to defend the interests of Mexico and Mexicans.”

Trump may not have thought through the budgeting.

Politico: Trump’s budget-busting immigration crackdown

President Donald Trump’s border wall could cost $20 billion, and his directive to crack down on border security could increase federal government spending by $13 billion a year.

It’s not clear where he’s going to get the money.

Trump said Wednesday, without elaborating, that his plan would “save billions and billions of dollars.” But it’s likely he’ll need Congress to agree to a massive spending increase if he wants to fully implement his vision.

The president has some authority to move dollars around within existing budgets. But his plan could cost more than the entire 2016 combined budgets for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection, which ran to $19.4 billion.

BBC asks How realistic is Donald Trump’s Mexico wall?

President Donald Trump wants to build an “impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall” between the US and Mexico.

But how tall? How powerful? How beautiful? The Republican’s big ideas can be small on detail, and the wall is no exception.

The US-Mexico border is about 1,900 miles (3100 km) long and traverses all sorts of terrain from empty, dusty desert to the lush and rugged surroundings of the Rio Grande.

Some 650 miles of the border is covered already by a confused and non-continuous series of fences, concrete slabs and other structures.

Mr Trump says his wall will cover 1,000 miles  (about 1,600 km) and natural obstacles will take care of the rest.

The Berlin wall was about 155 km.  The inner German border fence between East and West Germany was 1,393 km long as waas built between 1952 and the late 1980s. An estimated 1,000 people died trying to cross it.

What exactly will be built seems to be a changing story.

Throughout his presidential campaign, Mr Trump was adamant that he would fortify the southern border with a wall (“a wall is better than fencing and it’s much more powerful”).

The president briefly walked back his promise in November, telling CBS it might be a fence “for certain areas”.

But as recently as his first news conference in January, Mr Trump corrected a reporter who asked about his plans for the structure.

“It’s not a fence, it’s a wall. You just misreported it,” he said.

Mr Rhuzkan’s estimate was based on a wall that ran five feet beneath the ground and 20 feet above. Mr Trump’s claims for the wall range between 30ft and, more recently, 55ft. Even at 1,000 miles – vast amounts of concrete would be required.

The 650 miles of fencing already put up has cost the government more than $7 billion, and none of it could be described, even charitably, as impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, or beautiful.

And the wall won’t stop people going by air or by sea.

Talking the campaign sound bites is a lot simpler than walking the three thousand km border, let alone building a wall along it.