Spicer says relax, tax on Mexican products is just one of a ‘buffet of options’ on the table

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.

“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.”

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Spicer stressed that he was not making a formal policy announcement.

“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.

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.

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Sen. Lindsay Graham reacted to Spicer’s initial comments in a tweet on Thursday.

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.

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Frieda Powers

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