The Trump administration has announced that they want to place a 20% tax on imports from Mexico to pay for his wall. In reality, what Trump is proposing is a 20% tax increase on American consumers.
Trump’s Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters, “The plan that’s taking shape now using comprehensive tax reform to as a means to tax imports from countries that we have a trade deficit with Mexico. You tax that at 50%. Fifty billion dollars at 20% of imports, which is by the way a practice that 160 countries do right now.”
Spicer later added, “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.” Spicer also said that this mechanism respects the American taxpayer.
The press secretary refused to address what this tax increase would mean for American consumers. Prices will go up for everything from food to cars to electronics. The price for any imported item from Mexico will increase by 20%.
Everyone knows what a tariff really is:
Bottom line appears to be: President’s proposed 20% tariff on Mexican goods is, in essence, a tax on American consumers – to finance wall
— West Wing Reports (@WestWingReport) January 26, 2017
Pretty simple. Tariffs are taxes on the American consumer.
— Stuart Rothenberg (@StuPolitics) January 26, 2017
Looks like the @realDonaldTrump plan to pay for the wall would be to mostly tax us consumers with a 20% import tariff on Mexican goods.
— Steve Liesman (@steveliesman) January 26, 2017
Thus, Trump isn’t making Mexico pay for the wall. He is passing on the wall’s cost to US consumers through higher prices.
There is also a flip side to the coin. The US exports $270 billion worth of goods to Mexico each year. The Mexican government will retaliate against Trump by imposing a 20% tac on US goods coming into Mexico. This would harm the heavy machinary exporters and agriculture. President Trump’s tax would launch a trade war that would cause immediate damage to the US economy.
There is zero chance that Congress approves Trump’s tax, but the President’s lust for a trade war is real, and the man seems to have no clue that his plan would harm consumers and devastate the US economy.