Mexican President Nieto cancels Washington trip over border wall row with Trump

Pena Nieto canceled a planned trip to Washington to talk with Trump about relations between the two countries and talk of a trade war caused the peso to take a dive and gains in the US stock market to slow down.

It wasn't immediately clear what the pair talked about - or how cordially they greeted one another - but the call follows growing tensions between the North American neighbors.

The former president of Mexico Vicente Fox Queseda issued his own politically incorrect tweet in response to Trump's demand that Mexico pay for the wall referring to Trump White House Secretary Spicer: Sean Spicer, I've said this to @realDonaldTrump and now I'll tell you: Mexico is not going to pay for that fucking wall.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said his country would not pay for it as Trump suggested.

Trump then reiterated the call for Mexico to foot the bill.

Earlier this week, the president signed an executive order to create a wall along the 2,000-mile (3,200km) US-Mexico border.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Thursday that the wall is estimated to cost $12 to $15 billion.

Relations have been frayed since Trump launched his campaign in 2015, characterising Mexican migrants as murderers and rapists and pledging to build a wall that he said Mexico would pay for.

"We have informed the White House that I will not attend the working meeting planned for next Tuesday with @POTUS", Pena Nieto tweeted.

However, Trump also said the two countries would be "renegotiating our trade deals" and said he would make sure the Untied States does not "lose" on trade.

Mr Trump said construction would start within months and Mexico would pay back to the United States "100 percent" of the costs.

A Donald Trump supporter holds a sign referring to the wall Trump plans on building along the border at a rally in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA, 19 February 2016.

Trump's approval rating stands at roughly 45%, the lowest of any incoming American president.

During the presidential campaign, he regularly assailed USA manufacturers who have set up shop in Mexico to take advantage of cheap labor and a liberal trade regimen.

Pena Nieto said he would wait for a report from a high-level Mexican delegation holding meetings in the US capital this week and consult with governors and lawmakers before deciding on "the next steps to take".

Mexico's best-known opposition politician, leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, tweeted that "in the face of Trump's latest outburst, don't go to the meeting, and submit an urgent complaint to the United Nations for human rights violations".

  • Wendy Palmer