‘TAKING SHAPE’: Trump spokesman says 20-percent import tax on Mexican goods could fund border wall

   < < Go Back
from FoxNews,

President Trump’s plan to make Mexico pay for the wall he intends to build on the southern border may have taken shape Thursday, when his spokesman suggested imposing a 20-percent import tax on Mexican goods.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer mentioned the possibility to reporters on Air Force One Thursday, as relations between Trump and his Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto spiraled.

“When you look at the plan that’s taking shape now, using comprehensive tax reform as a means to tax imports from countries that we have a trade deficit from, like Mexico,” Spicer said.

“If you tax that $50 billion at 20 percent of imports – which is by the way a practice that 160 other countries do – right now our country’s policy is to tax exports and let imports flow freely in, which is ridiculous,” he said. “By doing it that we can do $10 billion a year and easily pay for the wall just through that mechanism alone. That’s really going to provide the funding.

Mexico and the U.S. trade about $531 billion in goods and services each year, with the U.S. running a $58 million trade deficit with its third-biggest partner. Cars, heavy machinery and agricultural products form the bulk of U.S. imports from Mexico.

Imposing the tax would likely require renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump has said he intends to do.

More From FoxNews:

Trump spokesman says 20-percent tax on Mexican goods could fund wall