The Mexican ambassador to the United States has warned President-elect Donald Trump that nothing will compel his country to pay for the proposed border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
On Nov. 30, Mexican ambassador Carlos Manuel Sada Solana told reporters that his government would remain firm in their refusal to provide the funds for Trump's signature campaign proposal: a wall along the southern border.
"We have said time and again Mexico is not paying for the wall," Sada said, according to The Arizona Republic. "That is something that has been said several times by the president of Mexico, the secretary of foreign affairs, secretary of economy, the secretary of finance. So we are not paying for the wall."
Sada explained that his government viewed the wall as unnecessary for border security and cited concerns about its environmental impact as well as its symbolic meaning for the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico.
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"We fear that there is going to be consequences regarding environmental issues," Sada continued. "It's also going to be sending a very negative message. What we say is we like to build bridges."
The ambassador added that despite their resistance to paying for the wall, the Mexican government has a vested interest "to have a safe and efficient border."
Sada added that if Trump attempted to put pressure on Mexico to pay for the wall by slapping a heavy tax on remittances from immigrants to their families south of the border, then his government would challenge the legality of such taxes.
In the ambassador's view, Trump has misled his supporters on how beneficial Mexico is to America. He cited how the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the two countries had resulted in 100,000 jobs in Arizona, which exports 40 percent of its foreign trade to Mexico.
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"For us, it is important that it is well-understood the relationship between Mexico and the United States because we think there is a perception that does not always correspond to the reality," Sada said.
"Mexico is not the enemy," Sada concluded. "It is the partner."
Trump's proposed border wall has met fierce resistance from Mexican officials. In February, former Mexican President Vincente Fox offered a very blunt response to Trump's call for his country to pay for the project.
"I'm not going to pay for that f***ing wall," Fox told Fusion.
On Nov. 23, a survey conducted by Quinnipiac University found that only 42 percent of U.S. voters supported the border wall while 55 percent were opposed, according to The Hill.