A suggestion that United States may impose a 20% tax on Mexican imports to pay for President Donald Trump’s planned border wall has been widely condemned in Mexico.
Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said such a tax would make imports more expensive for American consumers and they would end up paying for the wall.
Earlier, President Enrique Pena Nieto canceled a visit to the United States over the row of who would pay for the wall.
The planned wall was one of Donald Trump’s key election campaign pledges.
At the beginning of this week, President Trump signed an executive order to create a wall along the 2,000-mile US-Mexico border.
Speaking on January 26, Luis Videgaray said: “A tax on Mexican imports to the United States is not a way to make Mexico pay for the wall, but to a way make the North American consumer pay for it through more expensive avocados, washing machines, televisions.”
The foreign minister also stressed that paying for Donald Trump’s wall “is not negotiable” for Mexico.
On January 26, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said a 20% tax could generate approximately $10 billion in tax revenue per year.
However, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus later said that the border tax is only one of several options being considered.
The rift between the neighbors and trade partners has deepened just days into Donald Trump’s presidency.
After President Enrique Pena Nieto pulled out of next week’s summit, President Trump said the meeting would have been “fruitless” if Mexico didn’t treat the US “with respect” and pay for the wall.
Earlier President Pena Nieto said he “lamented” the plans for the barrier.
In a TV address, the Mexican leader told the nation: “I’ve said time and again: Mexico won’t pay for any wall.”
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham warned that US consumers may wind up bearing the cost of the proposed tax.
“Any tariff we can levy they can levy. Huge barrier to econ growth,” he wrote online.
“Build that wall” was one of Donald Trump’s campaign rally slogans.
His executive orders also called for hiring 10,000 immigration officials to help boost border patrol efforts.
Donald Trump said: “A nation without borders is not a nation.
“Beginning today the United States gets back control of its borders.”