Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said that if companies manufacture cars in China or Mexico “you’re going to have to pay a tax to get the cars back in” in an interview broadcast on CNN on Thursday.
Trump was asked how he would keep companies from leaving the US. He answered, “For one thing, you keep them by talking to them. But I would say you them — if they go there, they’ll make cars, and they’ll sell them to the United States, no tax, no nothing, just come right across the border. The next thing you know, they’ll have the illegals driving them across the border. Take them in. Drive them in. It’s cheaper that way, okay? I mean, you have to talk to these people.”
Trump was then asked what he would say if a CEO responded that labor is cheaper in another country. He stated, “then we’ll say, ‘That’s fine. If the labor’s cheaper over there, that’s good. But, you know, you’re going to have to pay a tax to get the cars back in. You’re going to have to pay a penalty. And if you put a penalty on, a tariff, or whatever you call it. And believe me, China’s doing it to us. China dumps all their stuff with us. And I’m not complaining about that. But you — I have friend that are manufacturers they cannot get their product into China. So, if they’re going to do it to us. We have to do it to them.”
Trump denied that this would increase costs for consumers, adding, “they’re going to make cars here. And maybe a person will buy fewer cars over the course of a lifetime. Who cares? We have to have — we have to bring back our jobs, Chris. We have to do it. We have no choice.”
Trump also denied this would punish consumers, continuing, “We owe $18 trillion. It’s going to be — very soon going to be $20 trillion that we owe, okay? We have to start creating jobs. We have to start creating wealth. Look, we all go to good schools. I go to great schools. You go to great [schools.] You don’t have to be even a smart — you don’t have to be the great student to know, when Ford builds this massive plant to build cars, and then they bring them back into our country, no tax. We get nothing. We get nothing. … They leave Michigan. They take them out of Detroit, and all over the place, and they go to Mexico. There’s no way that helps us. And you’re going to have to do something with the tariff, at the border, if they’re going to make cars over there. If they’re going to leave the United States, and create jobs for Mexico, and not the United States. You know what? It’s fine. But they’re going to pay some kind of a price.”
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