US President Donald Trump weighs import tax on Mexico to pay for wall

January 27, 2017 1:00 pm

President walks towards wellwishers after stepping off Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland upon his return from Philadelphia on January 26, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

US President Donald Trump is considering a 20 percent tax on imports from Mexico as one option to pay for construction of a wall along the US-Mexico border, deepening a diplomatic crisis between the two neighbors.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters on Thursday that Trump had discussed the proposal with Republicans in Congress during a private meeting.
“Our job right now isn’t to roll something out or be prescriptive,” Spicer said inside his West Wing office. “It’s to show that there are ways that the wall could be paid for.”
 The spokesman said the idea of an import tax, which has been floated by House Speaker Paul Ryan and other congressional Republicans, would generate $10 billion to pay for the wall.
The plan being considered by House Republicans would exempt export revenues from taxation, a significant shift from current US policy.

View of the US- Mexico border fence in the outskirts of Tijuana, northwestern Mexico on January 26, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus also told reporters that the White House was considering a range of other options in regard to the wall.
The discussion comes as Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced around midday on Thursday that he was canceling a planned meeting with Trump, who has repeatedly demanded that Mexico pay for the wall on the southern border.
Trump has estimated that the project would cost $8 billion.
Trump, who took office last Friday, signed an executive order Wednesday initiating the process of building the border wall and vowed once again to force Mexico to foot the bill.
The move provoked outrage in Mexico.
House Speaker Ryan said Wednesday that the US would “front the money” for the initial construction of the wall.
The top Republican said the rank and file members of the party were committed to making Trump’s wall a reality, adding that there were “various ways” to make Mexico pay for the project.
Trump sees the wall, a major promise during his election campaign, as part of a package of measures to curb the flow of illegal immigrants into .
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