President Donald Trump insists that Mexico will be paying for his proposed border wall between our two countries. Mexico, meanwhile, has pushed back saying they definitely aren’t paying for America’s wall.
Yesterday the Trump administration finally floated an idea for how they might get Mexico to pay for the wall despite their unwillingness to do so directly. Namely, a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports.
I’ll leave it up to others to decide whether or not we need a wall. I’m generally pro-immigration, but I understand frustration border communities have with the federal government not enforcing immigration law. And with Mexico basically condoning illegal emigration from their country into the United States.
If a wall can get us back to a place where the immigration that’s happening is lawful, I guess I’m for it, though I’d probably want it coupled with reforms to make legal immigration a whole lot easier.
But Trump using a trade tariff to pay for the wall? That wouldn’t be Mexico paying. That would be American customers for Mexican products paying.
“If you tax exports from Mexico into the United States, you’re going to make things ranging from avocados to appliances to flat-screen tvs, you’re going to make them more expensive,” Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said in response to Trump’s proposed tax.
That’s exactly right.
For decades conservatives have argued that higher taxes on the businesses which provide goods and services are not actually paid by those companies. Rather they’re paid by the end customers for the goods/services provided by those businesses.
Taxes are a cost of doing business, one that’s built into the prices businesses charge.
A tax on Mexican products imported into the United States will only raise the price of those products.
Mexico wouldn’t be paying for the wall. American citizens would be.