Mexican economy minister Ildefonso Guajardo said on that Mexico "will never pay for this wall", despite what US President Donald Trump says. (Photo: AFP/Anthony WALLACE)

Mexico will never pay for Trump wall: Mexican economy minister

Mexico has made clear it will never pay for President Donald Trump's planned southern border wall, the country's economy minister said on Thursday (Jan 11), after the US leader again insisted he would make Mexico pay for the barrier.

"The President of Mexico (Enrique Pena Nieto) has been very clear: Mexico will never pay for this wall," economy minister Ildefonso Guajardo wrote on Twitter after a day of meetings in Washington.

Trump told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published on Thursday that Mexico could pay for the wall, which he hopes will stem illegal immigration, "indirectly" through changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Trump has said he will withdraw from NAFTA if the accord cannot be renegotiated in favor of the United States.

Guajardo was in Washington for talks this week with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer over the modernization of NAFTA, according to a statement by Mexico's Economy Ministry.

Guajardo wrote on Twitter that the border wall had not been discussed at any time during his meetings with US officials, nor in the negotiations over how to rework NAFTA. 

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