International

Give funds for wall or will seal Mexico border: Donald Trump

Difficult times: A family walking past empty offices during a government shutdown in Washington on Thursday.

Difficult times: A family walking past empty offices during a government shutdown in Washington on Thursday.  

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Will take relations back to pre-NAFTA days: U.S. President

President Donald Trump threatened on Friday to seal off the U.S.-Mexico border “entirely” if Congress does not approve billions of dollars in funding for a wall.

In a burst of early morning tweets, the President said the alternative to funding his hugely controversial wall project would be total separation from Mexico — including making U.S. car companies pull out their factories based on the other side of the frontier.

The threat yet again upped the ante in a political row that has led to a partial shutdown of the U.S. government and seems set to dominate the start to the third year of Mr. Trump’s presidency.

‘Car industry to suffer’

“We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with,” Mr. Trump tweeted.

With the border shut, Mr. Trump said he would take U.S.-Mexican relations back to the days before the NAFTA agreement opened free trade across Canada, Mexico and the United States. That would “bring our car industry back into the United States where it belongs,” he said.

Mr. Trump did not make any mention of the new free trade agreement, known as the USMCA, which he recently signed to replace NAFTA and which he has repeatedly praised as a huge boost for American commerce.

Mr. Trump wants $5 billion in funding for a wall along the more than 2,000-mile border, which he says is currently too porous to stop illegal immigration and which he says has become a magnet for criminals, drugs and even terrorists.

Opponents — especially in the Democratic party but also some in Mr. Trump’s Republican party — say that a physical wall is impractical and that the idea is being used as a political tool to whip up xenophobia in Mr. Trump’s right-wing voter base.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 2:09:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/give-funds-for-wall-or-will-seal-mexico-border-donald-trump/article25853759.ece

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