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Donald Trump just wrapped up a joint appearance with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in which the two men delivered speeches and answered a handful of questions. Trump read his statement in a quiet, measured manner, striking a conciliatory tone. Referring to his private meeting with Peña Nieto, he said, “We recognize and respect the right of either country to build a physical barrier or wall.” However, he added that the two men “didn’t discuss payment of the wall.”
The GOP nominee shed his talk of leaving NAFTA and suggested instead that the two nations work to improve the trade agreement. “A strong, prosperous, and vibrant Mexico is in the best interest of the United States,” Trump said. “Both of our countries will work together for mutual good and most importantly for the mutual good of our people.” He also stressed the importance of keeping manufacturing jobs in the “Northern Hemisphere,” rather than in the US exclusively.
For his part, Peña Nieto said that the closed-door meeting was “open and constructive” and added, “even though we may not agree on everything, I trust that together we’ll be able to find better prosperity.” However, he asked his northern neighbor to stop the flow of guns and illicit money into Mexico, as it fuels the nation’s violent drug cartels.
Later on Wednesday, Trump will deliver his much anticipated immigration speech in Phoenix.