Trump promised to move forward with tackling trade deficits with Mexico as well as illegal immigration, including a commitment to have Mexico pay for a southern border wall.
US President Donald Trump expressed full determination in moving forward with his plans to tackle illegal immigration from the southern border with Mexico as he spoke on Thursday to Republican members of Congress at a retreat in Philadelphia.
“The hour of justice for the American worker has arrived,” Trump declared. “It’s time to restore the civil rights of Americans to protect their jobs, their hopes and their dreams for a much better future.”
Trump argued that the US worker and taxpayer have been on the losing end of the bargain with Mexico since the enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994.
“NAFTA has been a terrible deal, a total disaster for the United States from its inception, costing us as much as $60 billion a year with Mexico alone in trade deficits, not to mention millions of jobs and thousands and thousands of factories and plants closing down all over our country,” Trump contended.
“On top of that are the trillions of dollars the US taxpayers have spent to pay the costs of illegal immigration,” he continued, committing himself to “not allow the taxpayers or the citizens of the United States to pay the cost of this defective transaction, NAFTA, one that should have been renegotiated many years ago except that the politicians were too preoccupied to do so.”
Trump also focused on justifying his executive order mandating resources to go towards the construction of a border wall between the United States and Mexico.
“A lack of security poses a substantial threat to the sovereignty and safety of the United States of America and its citizens,” Trump argued. “Most illegal immigration is coming from our southern border.”
Trump also insisted that despite the unequivocal objections of Mexico’s politicians from the opposition as well as from President Enrique Pena Nieto towards any involvement or support for a border wall, Mexico would end up paying the costs.
“I’ve said many times that the American people will not pay for the wall and I’ve made that clear to the government of Mexico,” Trump stressed, adding that he and Congress are working on legislation that would collect money from Mexico through a modified import tax policy.
“We’re working on a tax reform bill that will reduce our trade deficits, increase American exports, and will generate revenue from Mexico that will pay for the wall if we decide to go that route,” he stated.
Trump added that the decision to cancel a scheduled meeting next week in Washington DC with Mexico’s president was a mutual one.
“The president of Mexico and myself have agreed to cancel our planned meeting scheduled for next week,” Trump said. “Unless Mexico is going to treat the United States fairly, with respect, such a meeting would be fruitless and I want to go a different route.”
By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News