As tensions rise between Mexico and the United States over President Trump’s proposed border wall — which Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto is insisting the country will not pay for — the Trump administration is looking for other means of raising the $15 billion to $25 billion required for the construction of such a huge endeavor. Trump has proposed a 20-percent tariff on all Mexican imports, which would cause the prices of avocados, Mexican beer, Toyotas (where a major plant is currently located), and more to skyrocket.
The idea, however, is not official. White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebu called the tariff “one way” in a “buffet of options,” Reuters reported.
“It is very troubling for world food and agricultural markets for Administration spokespersons to bandy about terms like a 20 percent tax on all imports from Mexico or other countries,’’ Tom Stenzel, president and CEO of the United Fresh Produce Association, said in a statement. “Consider the impact on American consumers of a 20% hike in the cost of foods such as bananas, mangoes and other products that we simply cannot grow in the United States. ... As the Administration looks to incentivize manufacturing jobs in the U.S., we urge President Trump to consider the unique nature of food and not place a new food tax on American consumers.”
Even Senator Lindsey Graham (R- S. Carolina) expressed concern over the potential tax:
Simply put, any policy proposal which drives up costs of Corona, tequila, or margaritas is a big-time bad idea. Mucho Sad. (2)
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 26, 2017
Mexico currently imports $295 billion worth of goods to America, according to 2015 statistics released by the Office of the Trade Representative.