US President-elect Donald Trump said in a press conference on Wednesday he will immediately begin negotiating with Mexico about financing the construction of a border wall after being inaugurated on January 20. “I could wait about a year-and-a-half until we finish our negotiations with Mexico, which will start immediately when we get to office, but I don’t want to wait,” Trump stated. “We’re going to start building.”
It’s not a fence, It’s a wall, we’re going to build a wall,” Trump said during a Wednesday press conference at Trump Tower in New York City.
“Mexico, in some form, and there are many different forms, will reimburse us. And they will reimburse us for the cost of the wall,” he continued. “That will happen, whether it’s a tax or whether it’s a payment. Probably less likely that it’s a payment. But it will happen.”
Last April, Trump issued a memo explaining to Mexico he would tax remittances flowing out of the U.S. economy—or the Mexican government could issue a one-time payment of up to $10 billion for the wall.
“Mexico has taken advantage of us in another way as well: gangs, drug traffickers, and cartels have freely exploited our open borders and committed vast numbers of crimes inside the United States,” he wrote. “The United States has borne the extraordinary daily cost of this criminal activity, including the cost of trials and incarcerations. Not to mention the even greater human cost.”
“We have the moral high ground here and all the leverage,” Trump said.