Saturday, January 28, 2017
Trump's Plan To Make Mexico Pay For Wall Doesn't Do That
Trump's idea for a wall between the United States and Mexico has always been a dumb one. While it sounds good to his ignorant followers, no wall can keep out anyone determined to get on the other side of it. Not only can any wall be breached, but there are myriad other ways to enter the United States without documentation.
Making the idea even stupider is that the way is not needed anyway. Undocumented immigration is lower then it's been in many years. In fact, undocumented immigration is currently a net zero -- with as many undocumented immigrants leaving the country as entering it. Trump's wall is just some very expensive political theater -- designed to please his supporters.
And even dumber is his promise to make Mexico pay for the wall. The Mexican government is not going to do that, and there is no way to make them do that. The latest Trump administration idea for making Mexico pay for the war is a 20% tax on all Mexican imports to the U.S..
As usual, Trump and his aides have not thought the idea through. That tariff won't get a penny from the Mexican government or the Mexican people. Who will pay the tariff? Americans -- anyone in the United States that buys a product from Mexico. Like tomatoes in the winter? They come from Mexico, and Trump's tariff will increase their price by 20% (a price paid by Americans -- not Mexico). And the same will be true of all products from Mexico -- Americans will pay the tax.
And that's not all. The 20% tariff would most likely get Mexico to retaliate against U.S. products entering Mexico with a tariff of their own. And that would hurt American businesses that do a lot of business in Mexico, because it would raise the price of their goods in Mexico. It could even result in the loss of jobs in the United States if the sales of those U.S. businesses takes a significant hit.
The wall and their plan to pay for it are both dumb ideas. But that seems to be what the Trump administration is best at -- producing dumb ideas.