New Delhi: The United States is now planning to install a steel barrier instead of a concrete wall along its border with Mexico, President Donald Trump said on Sunday indicating his administration and the Opposition Democratic party moving closer to resolve their difference on the issue, which has led to a partial government shutdown for a fortnight now.
“I informed my folks to say that we’ll build a steel barrier,” Mr. Trump told reporters after returning to the White House from a senior staff meeting at Camp David. He added of the Democrats, “They don’t like concrete, so we’ll give them steel.”
The shift marks a tacit acknowledgement of retreat by the White House on one of its signature issues as it faces the reality of divided government in the new year and a partial government shutdown that is in its second week.
Trump has already altered his long-standing pledge that Mexico would pay for the wall, claiming earlier this month that a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada would cover the cost “just by the money we save,” a notion dismissed by experts and for which the White House has offered no explanation.
For their part, Democrats said there was no progress as the shutdown entered its 16th day, and asked again that the government be reopened before negotiations on border security money begin.