An import tax on Mexico is just one way President Donald Trump’s administration is suggesting to pay for a wall along the southern border of the U.S.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer clarified earlier comments on a 20 percent tax on imports from Mexico saying that was one option and not an official policy rollout, The Hill reported.
— The Hill (@thehill) January 27, 2017
“Our job right now isn’t to roll something out or be prescriptive,” the spokesman told reporters on Thursday. “It’s to show that there are ways that the wall could be paid for. Full stop. That’s it.”
Spicer stressed that he was not making a formal policy announcement.
The President is both for and against the 20% tax on imported goods from Mexico. Next question.
— Sean Spicer (@WHPressSec) January 26, 2017
— Greta Van Susteren (@greta) January 26, 2017
“The idea was that there have been questions about how the president could pay for the wall,” he said. “One idea through comprehensive tax reform is that there could be this idea that Speaker Ryan and others have floated that could generate revenue.”
Spicer had discussed the tax with reporters earlier on Thursday aboard Air Force One on the president’s return from Philadelphia.
“If you tax that $50 billion at 20 percent of imports,” he said, “we can do $10 billion a year and easily pay for the wall just through that mechanism alone.”
Spicer added that it was “the beginning of this plan to make sure it is done right.”
“But, it clearly provides the funding and does so in a way that ensures that the American taxpayer is wholly respected,” he said.
UPDATE: Sean Spicer seems to walk back border tax proposal, saying it’s only one option. “There are clearly a bunch of ways it can be done.”
— Gregory Korte (@gregorykorte) January 26, 2017
Spicer’s initial comments followed an announcement by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto stating he would not come to Washington to meet with the president after his comments on pushing ahead with erecting the border wall.
Sen. Lindsay Graham reacted to Spicer’s initial comments in a tweet on Thursday.
Simply put, any policy proposal which drives up costs of Corona, tequila, or margaritas is a big-time bad idea. Mucho Sad. (2)
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 26, 2017
The South Carolina Republican, and former GOP presidential candidate, believes the tax could hurt parties on both sides of the border.
Spicer’s clarification on the proposed tax later on Thursday only added to the confusion for some.
?Folks, Spicer didn’t say the import tax would apply solely to Mexico ? https://t.co/v5iD6vHxfn
— Rebecca Berg (@rebeccagberg) January 26, 2017
WH spox Spicer clarifies talk of 20% border tax was just spitballing on how Mexico could be made to pay for wall. “Here’s 1 way. Boom. Done”
— Julie Davis (@juliehdavis) January 26, 2017
It seems like just about every outlet might be misinterpreting Spicer’s comments about Mexico. Caution seems prudent.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) January 26, 2017
Spicer seems to be referring only to a 20% DBCFT with border adjustment–not a specific punitive tariff on Mexico but overall tax reform.
— Neil Irwin (@Neil_Irwin) January 26, 2017
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