Irrespective of what the world thinks, President Donald Trump is firm on his commitment to build a border wall between the United States and Mexico and to impose a border tax to recover the cost of building the wall. He has been harping on this issue regularly in every post-election speech and has, now, sought proposals for the design of the proposed wall by next month. He also wants full details of financial assistance that Mexico has received from the United States in the previous five years.

Mexico threatens to retaliate

Mexico has reacted to the veiled threats by suggesting that they would impose levies on select goods that target regions which rely mainly on supplies from south of the border.

Luis Videgaray, the foreign minister clarified that Mexico would respond to any tax levied by America in their own way and that they did not need any financial help adding that his country believes in free trade.

On the subject of the possibility of losing out on United States aid, another minister indicated that Mexico will find a solution. He is Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong and he clarified that majority of aid is channelized through the Plan Merida program. As per the terms of this program, $2.6bn is earmarked for security assistance out of which $1.6bn has already been spent. The balance available is like a drop in the ocean and would not pay for the border wall which is estimated to cost $21.6bn.

Reasons for Mexican resentment

President Donald Trump has earned the displeasure of Mexico by not only proposing to build the border wall but also by his attitude towards immigrants. He had advised businesses to stop investing south of the border. These are sensitive areas and the resentment kept growing.

Trump’s plan to deport third-country nationals to Mexico was probably the proverbial last straw on the camel’s back and it led to further outrage.

As per the plan, non-Mexican illegal immigrants arrested along the border would be sent back to Mexico while their immigration cases were decided in the United States. This was not acceptable to Mexico.

Obviously, the president would have to rethink his strategies on Mexico because, building the border wall may not solve his problems but could create new ones.