enrique pena nieto
Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto gestures as he delivers a message about foreign affairs at Los Pinos presidential residence in Mexico City, Mexico, January 23, 2017. Picture taken January 23, 2017. Reuters/Edgard Garrido

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has tweeted that he would not attend a scheduled meeting on Tuesday with US President Donald Trump. The decision was made after Trump signed an executive order that would push the construction of the Mexican border wall and forcing Mexico to pay for it.

Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer said that they were looking for a date to schedule a new meeting in the future. The press secretary said that the US government would keep the lines of communication open.

"If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting," Trump tweeted. He earlier tweeted that US has a US$60 billion (AU$79.6 billion) trade deficit with Mexico and criticised the one-sided NAFTA deal. The border wall proposed by Trump would cost US$12 billion (AU$15.9 billion) to US$15 billion (AU$19.9 billion). Trump said that US might front the initial costs of the project but insisted that Mexico should pay back for it.

"Mexico does not believe in walls. I've said time again; Mexico will not pay for any wall," the Mexican president said in a video statement posted to Twitter and translated by CNN. He strongly reiterated that his country would not fund any border wall. The tension between the two presidents started in 2016 when Trump called some Mexicans entering the US as rapists and criminals.

However, instead of agreeing to the border wall, Peña ordered the government agencies, through his video statement, to step up protection for immigrants. He said that 50 Mexican consulates in the US would be used in defending the rights of immigrants in the country. Peña closed his statement by offering friendship to the people of the United States. He wished that they would arrive with an agreement to the US that would be in favour of Mexico and the Mexicans.