- August 31, 2016 -
Donald J. Trump Remarks in Mexico City, Mexico
Thank you. It is a great honor to be invited by you, Mr. President. A great, great honor. Thank you.
We had a very substantive, direct, and constructive exchange of ideas over quite a period of time. I was straightforward in presenting my views about the impacts of current trade and immigration policies on the United States. As you know, I love the United States very much and we want to make sure that the people of the United States are very well protected. You equally expressed your feelings and your love for Mexico.
The United States and Mexico share a 2,000 mile border, a half a trillion dollars in annual trade, and one million legal border crossings each and every day. We’re united by our support of democracy, a great love for our people, and contributions of millions of Mexican-Americans to the United States. And I happen to have a tremendous feeling for Mexican-Americans not only in terms of friendships, but in terms of the tremendous numbers that I employ in the United States and they are amazing people. Amazing people.
I have many friends, so many friends, and so many friends coming to Mexico and in Mexico. I’m proud to say how many people I employ and the United States first, second, and third generation Mexicans are just beyond reproach. Spectacular, spectacular, hard-working people. I have such great respect for them, and their strong values of family, faith, and community.
We all share a common interest in keeping our hemisphere safe, prosperous, and free. No one wins in either country when human smugglers and drug traffickers prey on innocent people. When cartels commit acts of violence. When illegal weapons and cash flow from the United States into Mexico or when migrants from Central America make the dangerous trek, and it is very, very dangerous, into Mexico or the United States without legal authorization. I shared my strong view that NAFTA had been a far greater benefit to Mexico than it has been to the United States and that it must be improved upon to ensure that workers, and so important, in both countries, benefit from fair and reciprocal trade. I expressed that to the United States and that of the United States, that we must take action to stem this tremendous outflow of jobs from our country. It is happening every day, and is getting worse and worse and worse and we have to stop it.
Prosperity and happiness in both countries will increase if we work together on the following five shared goals.
Number one: ending illegal immigration. Not just between our two countries, but including the illegal immigration and migration from Central and South Americas, and from other regions that impact security and finances in both Mexico and the United States. This is a humanitarian disaster. The dangerous treks, the abuse by gangs and cartels, and the extreme physical dangers and it must be solved, it must be solved quickly. Not fair to the people anywhere worldwide you can truly say but certainly not fair to the people of Mexico or the people of the United States.
Number two: having a secure border is a sovereign right, and mutually beneficial. We recognize and respect the right of either country to build a physical barrier or wall on any of its borders to stop the illegal movement of people, drugs, and weapons. Cooperation toward achieving the shared objective, and it will be shared, of safety for all citizens is paramount to both the United States and Mexico.
Number three: dismantling drug cartels and ending the movement of illegal drugs, weapons, and funds across our border. This can only be done with cooperation, intelligence, and intelligence-sharing, and joint operations between our two countries. It’s the only way it’s going to happen.
Improving NAFTA, number four. NAFTA is a 22-year old agreement that must be updated to reflect the realities of today. There are many improvements that can be made that would make both Mexico and the United States stronger and keep industry in our hemisphere. We have tremendous competition from China and from all over the world. Keep it in our hemisphere. Workers in both our countries need a pay raise very desperately. In the United States, it has been 18 years. 18 years and wages are going down. Improving pay standards, and working conditions, will create better results for all and all workers, in particular. There is a lot of value that can be created for both countries by working beautifully together and that, I am sure, will happen.
Number five: keep manufacturing wealth in our hemisphere. When jobs leave Mexico, the U.S., or Central America, and go overseas, it increases poverty and pressure on social services as well as pressures on cross-border migration. Tremendous pressure. The bond between our two countries is deep and sincere. And both of our nations benefit from a close and honest relationship between our two governments. A strong, prosperous, and vibrant Mexico is in the best interest of the United States and will keep, and help keep for a long, long period of time America together. Both of our countries will work together for mutual good and, most importantly, for the mutual good of our people.
Mr. President, I want to thank you. It has been a tremendous honor and I call you a friend. Thank you.
Answer (DJT): Excellent. Excellent. I have tremendous respect for the President. We were together for quite some time and I think excellent. I was with, as you know, Senator Sessions and Mayor Giuliani and we had a tremendous, more than an hour.
Answer (DJT): Say it, yes. No, not at all. Look, we want what is good for the United States and he wants what is good for Mexico. We realized from the beginning, its good for both of us, better for both of us actually. John?
Answer (DJT): We didn’t discuss that. We didn’t discuss who pays for the wall. We didn’t discuss.
Question: Beginning of the question is inaudible. …and, the wall, is it a non-starter . . .?
Answer (DJT): Well, I’ll start. Nothing like an easy question like that. We discussed the wall, we did not discuss payment of the wall. That will be for a later date. This was a very preliminary meeting. I think it was an excellent meeting. We are, I think we’re very well on our way. A lot of the things I said are very strong but we have to be strong. We have to say what is happening. There is crime as you know. There is a lot of crime and there is a lot problems, but I think together we will solve those problems. I really believe that the President and I will solve those problems. We will get them solved. Illegal immigration is a problem for Mexico as well as for us. Drugs are a tremendous problem for Mexico as well as us. I mean it’s not a one way street. We will work together and we will get those problems solved.
Answer (EPN): I have absolute respect for the electoral process in the United States. I wanted to invite both candidates, which was responded to quite quickly by Mr. Trump the candidate. So, the meeting, besides the issues we just discussed, we also talked about how relevant is the relationship among our countries. How important it is to have a strategic alliance between our countries. I also asked – showed Mr. Trump the great responsibility that I have to defend the Mexican population. Both Mexicans that are here and outside of Mexico. That there has been a misinterpretation or assertions that regrettably had hurt and had affected Mexican perception of his candidacy, of which I am fully respectful of. Mexican people felt hurt by the comments that had made but I’m sure that his genuine interest is to build a relationship that will give both of our societies better welfare. That the willingness expressed from the Mexican presidency to get together with both candidates, both of the candidates of the United States. It is based on the same premise to work together. But above all, a mutual respect among nations. This is what I have shared with Candidate Trump.