After a tense day of tweeting between Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and President Donald Trump, including Peña Nieto deciding to cancel a scheduled visit to the U.S., the White House announced Thursday that it will seek a 20 percent tax on imports from Mexico to help pay for the U.S. southern-border wall.
The tax is part of a larger comprehensive tax-reform plan that will include taxing imports from other countries, CNN reports.
“By doing it that [way] 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,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer told the news station.
“According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Mexico’s exports to the U.S. in 2015 [were] valued at $316.4 billion. The trade deficit is estimated to be $50 billion,” CNN reports.
Mexico’s leaders have been adamant that they’re not paying for the proposed wall. Trump said Thursday, while speaking during a Republican retreat, that he agreed to cancel the meeting with Mexico’s president and that if Mexico didn’t agree to fund the building of the wall, he would find an alternative way to address the funding.
It appears that Trump’s way is to heavily inflate import taxes on the country.
“It clearly provides the funding and does so in a way that the American taxpayer is wholly respected,” Spicer said Thursday.
Read more at CNN.