|President Trump (L), Mexican President Pena Nieto (R)|
Now we know how President Trump plans to pay for the border wall he campaigned on so strenuously.
The New York Times reports:
President Trump plans to make Mexico pay for his border wall by imposing a 20 percent tax on all imports into the United States from Mexico, raising billions of dollars that would cover the cost of the new barrier.
The proposal, which Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said the president discussed privately with congressional Republicans before giving remarks at a party retreat here, would be a major new economic proposal that could have far-reaching implications for consumers, manufacturers and relations between the two governments.
Mr. Spicer said the 20 percent tax on annual Mexican imports would raise $10 billion a year and would easily pay for a border wall that is estimated to cost between $8 billion and $20 billion. The value of imported goods from Mexico in 2015 was $296 billion. Mr. Spicer said taxing imports is something that 160 other countries already do.
The new tax would be imposed on Mexico as part of a tax overhaul that Mr. Trump intends to pursue with the Republican Congress. Mr. Spicer said the tax initially would apply only to Mexico, but that the president supports imposing a 20 percent tax on all imports.
It seems to me that if this plan goes forward, it's the American people who will be paying for "the wall" buy having to pay 20% more for imported goods from Mexico.
The Times goes on to say new legislation would have to be crafted to implement such an import tax.
As earlier reported, a planned meeting of the two presidents scheduled for January 31 was cancelled today by the Mexican president. See tweet below from the Mexican president:
UPDATE - The White House is
BREAKING: Spicer tells me 20% tax on Mexican imports is NOT a policy proposal, but example of options how to pay for wall.— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) January 26, 2017
NEW: To punctuate point, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus tells me 20% tax on Mexican imports is one of a "buffet of options." https://t.co/Gtf3PdLZmI— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) January 26, 2017