President Donald Trump’s administration is floating the idea of a 20 percent import tax on Mexico to help pay for a border wall on the U.S. southern border.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer discussed the tax with reporters on the way back from Philadelphia after Trump spoke to both houses of Congress.
“If you tax that $50 billion at 20 percent of imports… we can do $10 billion a year and easily pay for the wall just through that mechanism alone,” he said, pointing out that an import tax would be similar to other countries.
The wall would save money, Spicer explained, by slowing down illegal immigration, and reducing the expenses needed for border enforcement.
When asked if the American consumer would suffer as a result of such a tax, Spicer argued that the economy would adjust.
“I think what its going to do is lift up the wages of American workers as well,” he said. “Right now we have an influx of cheap labor. Its going to put the American consumer back, net net, to make sure the American workers get lifted up as well.”
Spicer clarified afterwards that he was only offering a proposal.
“We’ve been asked over and over again ‘how could you possibly do this, there’s now way that Mexico will pay for it,’” he said. “Here’s one way. Boom. Done.”