Proposed tax on Mexican exports to US would hurt diverse economic sectors

Posted at 7:47 PM, Jan 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-27 21:47:14-05

President Donald Trump has promised that Mexico will pay for the proposed border wall.

It turns out the administration may look to a 20% tax on imports from Mexico to help foot the bill, the White House said Thursday.

The trade relationship between the U.S. and Mexico has blossomed since NAFTA.

According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, Mexico exported $295 billion worth of goods to the U.S. in 2015. But while many are picturing produce items, like avocados and tomatoes, Mexico’s number one category for exports were vehicles and automobile parts.

RELATED: Donald Trump's pledge to renegotiate NAFTA could make Arizona a big winner...or loser

Automotive giants like Ford, Nissan, Dodge and Chevy all have plants in Mexico. The country exported $74 billion in vehicles alone in 2015.

According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative’s website, “electrical machinery ($63 billion), machinery ($49 billion), mineral fuels ($14 billion), and optical and medical instruments ($12 billion),” are next in the list of most exported items.

There was swift negative response to the suggestion of a 20% tax on imports to pay for the wall, and President Trump’s staff has since softened its stance on the proposed tax. It’s now being called one of a “buffet of options” for how Mexico could pay for the border wall.