comscore Spokesman says Trump seeks 20 percent tax on Mexican imports | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Spokesman says Trump seeks 20 percent tax on Mexican imports

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    President Donald Trump waved as he arrived on Air Force One, today, at the Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia, before speaking at the Republican Congressional retreat.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A protester looked toward a circling helicopter as he demonstrated against President Donald Trump’s visit today in Philadelphia. Trump traveled to Philadelphia to speak to House and Senate GOP lawmakers at their annual policy retreat.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    President Donald Trump spoke at the House and Senate GOP lawmakers’ annual policy retreat in Philadelphia today.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    President Donald Trump pointed to guests upon his arrival at Andrews Air Force One, Md. today. Trump returned from Philadelphia after speaking at the House and Senate GOP lawmakers at their annual policy retreat.

PHILADELPHIA >> President Donald Trump called on fellow Republicans to help him enact “great and lasting change” at a party retreat today but offered few details. Later his spokesman said the president will seek a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports to pay for a proposed border wall.

The president was greeted by cheers as he took the stage in a hotel ballroom, telling senators and House members, “This Congress is going to be the busiest Congress in decades — maybe ever.”

He addressed lawmakers shortly after Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto canceled a trip to Washington next week for his first meeting with the new president due to their disagreement over which of their countries would pay to build Trump’s promised wall on the border between them.

The wall is part of Trump’s plan to halt illegal immigration to the U.S., and he has long insisted that Mexico will pay. Pena Nieto insists his country will not.

On the flight back to Washington, White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters traveling with the president that Trump will seek to impose a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports to pay for the wall. Congressional approval would be needed for such a step.

But then later, at the White House, Spicer tried to take back his earlier comments by saying the 20 percent tax is one of several options under consideration and Trump hasn’t settled on it as the way to recoup construction costs for building the wall.

In Trump’s remarks to lawmakers, he cast the cancellation of his engagement with Pena Nieto as a mutual decision, saying they had “agreed to cancel our planned meeting.” Trump had tweeted early today that “it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting” given Pena Nieto’s unwillingness to pay for the border wall.

Trump’s election put Republicans in control of both the White House and Congress for the first time in more than a decade. Yet Trump’s often fluid ideology has sometimes put him at odds with his own party, making agreement on issues including a tax overhaul and entitlements no guarantee.

Addressing fellow Republicans, the president spoke about his agenda in broad terms and then skipped a planned question-and-answer session. He gave the lawmakers no specific marching orders for tackling the repeal and replace of “Obamacare,” one of the most complicated issues Congress is expected to tackle this year.

Spicer had said Trump today would continue to exercise his executive authority to implement his agenda, but an event listed on the president’s public schedule was postponed and could now take place on Friday.

The White House is considering steps to commission a probe of widespread voter fraud, restrict the flow of refugees to the U.S., and negotiate individual trade deals with countries that signed the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. Trump took steps earlier this week to withdraw the U.S. from TPP, saying the agreement puts American workers at a disadvantage.

Trump’s brief trip to Philadelphia marked his first flight on Air Force One, the familiar blue and white government plane that has long ferried presidents around the country and the world. Spokesman Sean Spicer described Trump — who traveled throughout the campaign and the transition on his own private jet — as being “in awe” of the presidential aircraft.

Trump saluted as he walked off his Marine helicopter and chatted with an Air Force officer who escorted him to the steps of the plane. He climbed the steps slowly but did not turn around and wave as presidents often do.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature
Comments (34)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

  • Good idea? I would think the 20% tax cost would be passed on to the US consumer – bad idea I would guess? In the end, Americans end up paying for this wall.

      • Allie, I’ve come to the conclusion that much of what Trump wants to do is by “shooting at the hip”. But, what is getting him into trouble is the context in which he wants to get things done.
        He has ideas, albeit many of his ideas are just that, IDEAS. Once he and his people draw a more realistic approach he will be better able to demonstrate his exact strategy. Until then, it IS an idea and is for the most part excited and ready to move on it. Of course, with all the red-tape and legalities needed, the announcements of what he intends to do are simply that.
        Give the guy a break, he is wanting to get things done which is more than I can say for the rest of our country’s politicians.

        • Give the guy a break? Tell you what, why don’t you let him pilot the next airliner you take to the mainland – a thing that is far less complicated to operate than say… a country.

          I’m sure he’d have plenty of ideas and lots of enthusiasm for that as well.

        • He’s a billionaire and your president, kinda smart as you sit at your computer screen. 🙂

      • If I’m Ford, GM or Chrysler Fiat and I see it’s going to cost me 20% more to build a car and sell it in the US, I’ll be moving my production elsewhere. The president of Mexico will be getting pressure from the US manufactures and the employees who work in Mexico……..

        Yes, Mexico will be building the wall.

        • Not if Trump has his way. Americans will pay for the wall, which will be financed by the 20% hike on Mexican goods Trump would force us to pay.

    • I believe that is exactly what will happen, in effect the American consumers will pay for the wall. Thought the guy was a businessman?

      All-Lies, show some basic judgement and go back to North Dakota.

    • That’s a liberal point of view. Another point of view is that the consumer will purchase the US equivalent instead. Or decide on an alternative.

      • If the goods aren’t purchased, they won’t be shipped in the future, no tariffs will be collected, and the American consumers / taxpayers foot the bill anyway.

  • China imposes tariffs on US made products of 30% to 40%. When the US media reports on what Trump is thinking about doing, it should provide some perspective by reporting what other countries are already doing to tax imports from the US. Making Trump ideas sound radical and unprecedented is misleading. American workers, including American unions, are likely to benefit from Trump’s approach.

    • BINGO! Countless countries impose massive tariffs on imported goods but cry like little “D”onkeys when the USA wants to impose tariffs on imported goods. haaaaaaaa

      • I don’t like the quality of the majority of Mexican made products so I stay far away from anything made in Mexico. Feel free to pay for the wall by buying their junk! Oddly, unlike many years ago, Chinese made products these days are far better in quality than anything Mexico makes!

        • That is quite the scholarly analysis!

          What Mexican products, exactly, do you buy?

          (This ought to be entertaining.)

        • klastri, General Motors for example. Complete $h!t ever since they’ve had their engines made there and their cars are only assembled partially in the USA. No wonder they wen’t bankrupt. Quality went to $h!t on many industrial items when they were made in Mexico. Even Fender Guitars made in Mexico have a horrendous reputation for quality issues so the 100% American ones cost almost double. You see a made in Mexico sticker, run!!!

  • Yes, please proceed with the investigation on voter fraud. This should be very comprehensive and include Russian hacking and involvement with the election process, gerrymandering of districts to sway decisions, and identifying whether those who run for office do in fact reside in the districts that they represent. ALL of these things fall under “fraud” in the voting context and we should have the light shine upon each and every possible area of wrongdoing.

  • Hmmmm. I wonder if the proposed tax purpose is correctly reported. I thought import duty was for preserving domestic jobs. I think better to put crossing charge on foreign persons entering into the US across the Mexican border. Some ridiculously high border crossing numbers exist like 300 million per year. If half are foreign entries, 150 million times $10 entry fee gives $1.5 billion per year cash stream to pay off wall.

    • $10.00 entrance fee!?! That’s like landing at Incheon Intl Airport and hopping on the express train for Seoul Station. Lol… Many birder crossing are people going to work or school in the US both the northen and southern borders. For instance you have students who live in Mexico that go to University in El Paso TX. They are contributing to our economy while improving their lives. $10 entrance fee.., there would be all kinds of illegal crossings!!

  • The PEETUS thinks that Congress works for him. He is clueless. He thinks he will dictate to congress and the Senate what and how he wants things done. He thinks that the Mexican government is just going to lie down and allow him to impose an import tax without ramification. Doesn’t he realize that affecting Mexico also affects the rest of South America which, oh by the way, controls the Panama Canal. Any taxes imposed on the Mexican Government will be absorbed by the American consumer. Oh, btw, the U.S. imports 16% of it’s oil from Mexico. Expect prices to rise. The only comapny that can handle the enormous demand for cement to build this wall is from, none other than, Mexico. The steel that will be used for the construction phases of the wall will come from China and the price of steel went up twice since the PEETUS took office because of his meeting with Taiwan. One last thing. America is made up of Canada, United States, Mexico and the rest of South America. That is unless the PEETUS wants to claim America as well.

    • You are naively assuming that US companies do not the capacity to increase cement, steel production etc. You also assume that the steel will come from China. Why do you think the wall will be built of Chinese steel when Trump has already specified that the oil pipeline will be constructed of pipes of USA made steel?

  • Trump forgot that Mexican airlines buy American planes, and with the 20% tax that Mexico would enact (that’s how this kind of tax works) Airbus aircraft would look a lot better than Boeing.

    He acts like a child.

    This is how psychotics act.

  • Glad the media is not giving Kellyanne Conway any air time the last couple of days. She is full of “Alternate Facts” and enjoys the lime light in front of the news camera.

  • Sean Spicer is on a hot streak. Can’t wait to wake up tomorrow and, over a cup of coffee, read about his latest face plant. His must be history’s worst first week for a WH Press Secretary.

  • Trump is a marketing genius type of business man, but he is not a financial genius– quite the opposite. He does not know how our trade arrangements with Mexico work– very different from arrangements with the Chinese. A lot of imports from Mexico about 40-60% in value– start out in the US as items assembled or manufactured in the US then exported for additional assembly in Mexico and imported from Mexico back to the USA– example, is a tractor frame and wheels built in USA, sent to Mexico for installing lights, steering wheel, fenders, etc., then it is returned to US to be finished. This results in 6 Million jobs in the USA according to the US Chamber of Commerce. The Trump tax will be passed on to companies importing parts and assemblies from Mexico and those will be passed on consumers. Over $300 Billion annually in imports suddenly jump in price and on top of that our exports will be taxed as well and our goods with a tax will not compete with those from other countries (China is Mexico’s third largest trading partner). This is how recessions start.

Scroll Up