Mexico again says there is 'no way' it will pay for Trump wall

MEXICO CITY, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Mexico's new Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said on Tuesday there is no way his country will pay for the wall that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to build on the United States' southern border to keep out illegal immigrants.

"There's no way that could happen," Videgaray said on Mexican television a few days after his appointment.

"There are no circumstances...not even the best possible trade deal, investments, support which would justify taking a step that would violate the dignity of Mexicans to such an extent."

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Where the wall already exists along the US-Mexico border
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Where the wall already exists along the US-Mexico border
A gap in the U.S.-Mexico border fence is seen outside Jacumba, California, United States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
U.S. customs and border patrol officers inspect a vehicle entering the U.S. from Mexico at the border crossing in San Ysidro, California, United States, October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
U.S. customs and border patrol officers inspect a vehicle entering the U.S. from Mexico at the border crossing in San Ysidro, California, United States, October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
Men talk on a street in the town of Calexico, California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A U.S. customs and border patrol officer stands at a border crossing in San Ysidro, California, United States, October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Recent arrivals from Mexico wait to board a greyhound bus in San Ysidro, California, United States, October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Highway 82 towards Douglas, Arizona is seen near Sonoita, Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
Clouds float above the border towns of Nogales, Mexico and Nogales, Arizona, United States, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A sign warning drivers that firearms and ammunition are prohibited in Mexico is seen at the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona, United States, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Buildings in Nogales, Mexico (R) are separated by a border fence from Nogales, Arizona, United Sates, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
An abandoned car sits off the side of a road near Jacumba, California, United States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A worker makes his way through the water after setting up an irrigation system on an agricultural field, near Calexico, California, U.S. October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
An abandoned car sits off the side of a road near Jacumba, California, United States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A church at the Museum of History in Granite is seen in Felicity, California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A man drives a tractor plowing a field at sunrise near Calexico, California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
Residential homes are seen next to the fence that borders Mexico, in Douglas, Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Pedestrians wait to cross the street in Calexico, California, Unites States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
The town of Bisbee is seen in Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Pedestrians make their way into the the United States from Mexico at the pedestrian border in Nogales, Arizona, United States, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A roadside collection of alien dolls and toy UFO saucers is seen next to a roadside residence neat Jacumba, California, United States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A road abruptly ends next to a sign for a cattle ranch near Douglas, Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A boy rides an all-terrain vehicle next Mexican border along the Buttercup San Dunes in California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
An old refurbished gas station is seen in Lowell, Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A man rides a tricycle past a grocery store in a town that borders Mexico, in San Luis Butter, California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A U.S. customs and border patrol truck drives past the fence that marks the border between U.S. and Mexico, in Calexico, California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A truck drives west towards California along highway 8 near Gila Bend, Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Electronic items are displayed in a shop window in Calexico, California, United States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A residential home is seen in Nogales, Arizona, United States, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A fence separates the border towns of Nogales, Mexico (R) and Nogales, Arizona, United Sates, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
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The wall has been a bone of contention between Trump and Mexico since the businessman launched his presidential campaign in June 2015, accusing Mexico of sending rapists and drug dealers across the border into the United States.

Trump said on Friday that Mexico would repay the United States for the wall, a day after news emerged that the New Yorker's transition team was exploring getting the Republican-led Congress to vote to approve the funding.

Previously Mexico's finance minister, Videgaray played a key role in setting up Trump's hastily arranged visit to Mexico City at the end of August, which turned into a public relations disaster for President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Videgaray stepped down as finance minister a week later. Officials say he has played an important role in informal talks with Trump's transition team, particularly his son-in-law Jared Kushner who is set to become a senior White House adviser.

During the television interview, Videgaray said he had a "very favorable impression" of Kushner, whom he described as "extraordinarily competent." Contact with Kushner had come about through connections on Wall Street, Videgaray said.

Videgaray said setting up a meeting between Pena Nieto and Trump once the American takes office on Jan. 20 was a priority.

Trump has vowed to ditch a joint trade deal with Mexico if he cannot renegotiate it in the United States' favor, and has threatened to slap a hefty border tax on goods produced in Mexico, notably from its burgeoning automobile sector.

Last week Ford abruptly canceled a planned $1.6 billion investment in Mexico, and Trump promptly thanked the firm.

"I think the uncertainty (over trade) is doing a lot of harm to investment decisions in the automotive sector and many other sectors," Videgaray said.

The foreign minister said Mexico would also need to undertake more trade missions than ever before in 2017 in Asia, Europe and Latin America to diversify its base.

(Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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