Just hours after Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto cancelled a meeting with President Trump over renewed tension involving the US' southern border, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, announced that Trump will pay for the wall by imposing a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports, according to CNN.
"By doing it that we can do $10 billion a year and easily pay for the wall just through that mechanism alone," Spicer said. "That's really going to provide the funding,"
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
Spicer told NBC News that the tax is not a policy proposal.
In the brief press gaggle on Air Force One, Spicer told reporters that Trump wants the measure to be included in a comprehensive reform package. He added, "We've been in close contact with both houses [of Congress] in moving forward and creating a plan."
He wouldn't, however, clarify how the border tax would affect American consumers.
America gets $316 billion in imports from Mexico per year. A 20% tax on all imports means Americans pay $63B more for various food and goods— Mike Rosenberg (@ByRosenberg) January 26, 2017
The tax could cause a price surge in American goods.
Mexico is also 2nd-largest market for goods FROM America. US businesses send $267B in goods there per year. What if they enact a tax on us?— Mike Rosenberg (@ByRosenberg) January 26, 2017
And there could be unintended consequences.
On Wednesday, Trump signed an executive order that formally initiated the process of constructing a border wall, vowing that Mexico would pay for it. Getting wind of the news, Nieto told the White House that he wouldn't be attending the meeting set to occur next Tuesday.
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