Since practically the first time he brought it up, Donald Trump has always said that Mexico would pay for his notorious border wall.
But it’s never been exactly clear how Mexico would hand over the money, or indeed even why they should.
Trump later elaborated that the US would in fact pay for the wall, and then been reimbursed by the Mexican government.
But Mexico has repeatedly said they won’t be paying for anything.
The latest suggestion, announced by Press Secretary Sean Spicer, is a 20% import tax on Mexican goods. Which would actually punish US consumers as much as it would do Mexico.
As William Gale, co-director of think tank The Tax Policy Centre, explains it:
The irony of putting a tariff on Mexican goods is that, to the extent it raises consumer prices in the US, consumers will be paying for the wall, not Mexican producers.
And what products will it hit the most? According to a report by USA Today, fresh produce that cannot be grown in the US will be greatly effected.
Produce like bananas, mangoes... And avocados.
Mexico supplies the US with 80% of its avocados - and people are now freaking out.
They could become a super-valuable commodity, like gold.
This could be the start of the revolution.
Mexico is the second-biggest prover of agricultural products to the US, with 2015 imports totaling $21 billion. The US also spent $74 billion on cars assembled in Mexican factories in 2015, along with $1.7 billion on imported snack foods, and $2.7 billion on imported wine and beer. Other key imports include machinery, medical instruments, and mineral fuels.
Sean Spicer later elaborated to say that the 20% tariff was one ‘example’ and not a policy proposal at present.
HT: USA Today.