Mexico's finance minister on Thursday shot down the suggestion from US presidential candidate Donald Trump that Mexico would pay for a wall to block illegal immigration into the United States.
"Mexico will under no circumstances pay for the wall suggested by Mr Trump," Mexican Finance Minister Luis Videgaray said in a television interview.
Trump, the Republican front-runner in the US presidential race, has repeatedly said he would build a wall along the US-Mexico border and force Mexico the pay for it. Its purpose would be not just to stop illegal immigration, but also the flow of illicit narcotics into the United States.
Videgaray called it "an extremely bad idea" that is "based on an ignorance that has nothing to do with the reality of North American integration."
The finance minister said migration between Mexico and the US had had a negative balance for over five years.
"That means that more people are coming from the US into Mexico than Mexicans going into the United States," he said.
If Trump wins the US election, Mexico would nevertheless still seek to work with the White House.
"Whomever is president will find that the Mexican government is always open to constructive dialog, but will also protect the interests of Mexicans," the finance minister said.
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