Mexican peso tumbles after Trump news conference
MEXICO CITY: Mexico’s peso fell on Wednesday after US President-elect Donald Trump vowed to make the country pay for a huge border wall and to tax companies that ship jobs abroad.
The Mexican currency shed 0.9 percent, trading at 22.20 pesos per dollar after hitting a historic low 22 pesos per greenback on Tuesday, according to private bank Citibanamex.
But it later regained some of its losses, exchanging hands at 22.10 pesos per dollar.
Trump pledged to forge ahead with plans for a wall on the southern US border with Mexico soon after taking office by having the US Congress pay for it first and forcing Mexico to reimburse it later.
“Mexico in some form — and there are many different forms — will reimburse us and they will reimburse us for the cost of the wall,” said Trump, in his first news conference since winning the November 8 presidential election.
“That will happen. Whether it’s a tax or whether it’s a payment.”
Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray insisted on Tuesday that there is “no way” that his country will pay for any wall, but he signaled that his government was ready to negotiate with the incoming Trump administration.
The peso has fallen since Trump’s election victory as investors fret over his threats to impose tariffs on companies that ship jobs to Mexico and his pledge to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Last week, US automaker Ford scrapped plans for a new $1.6 billion factory in Mexico that Trump had criticized, though the company said the decision was business-related.
The Republican property tycoon, who succeeds Democrat Barack Obama as president on January 20, threatened to impose tariffs on General Motors and Japanese rival Toyota last week.
Trump repeated on Wednesday that he will imposed a “major border tax” on companies that shift jobs abroad.