President Donald Trump
threatened Tuesday to bring the US government to the brink of a shutdown
if needed to pressure Congress into funding the border wall that was a centerpiece of his 2016 campaign.
Delivering a warning to Democratic lawmakers who have objected to his plans to construct a wall along the US-Mexico frontier, Trump called them “obstructionists” and said that it was time for the US to crack down on illegal immigration.
"If we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall,” Trump told thousands of supporters gathered in Phoenix for a campaign-style rally. “One way or the other, we’re going to get that wall.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell about 0.3 per cent, the S&P 500 dropped 0.25 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite slid 0.32 per cent. The benchmark S&P also fell below its 50-day moving average again on Wednesday, a key level it has struggled to maintain since falling below on August 10.
Credit ratings agency Fitch said on Wednesday that if the debt ceiling is not raised in a timely manner, it would review the US sovereign debt rating, which is its measure of confidence in the soundness of the US economy.
The president also said he might terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement at some point. “His comments on the NAFTA
negotiations once again brings the general direction toward obstructing free trade, and raises concerns over its impact on global trade,” said Hideyuki Ishiguro, a senior strategist at Daiwa Securities in Tokyo.
Trump has asked for $1.6 billion to begin construction of the wall, with Congress under pressure to pass some kind of spending bill to keep the government open after September 30.