June 5, 2023

The Trump administration is considering levying a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports into the United States as a way to pay for President Donald J. Trump’s  proposed border wall promised throughout his presidential campaign.

Trump’s wall funded by Mexico, one of the major promises of his campaign, but several figures to build the wall are often in the billions of dollars, have been suggested for the cost of the wall. However, the administration is still considering options to deliver on its promises.

Wendy Keyes, assistant professor of economics, expressed doubt on the import tax.

“To put a tax on (imports) to try to pay for (the wall), that assumes that the entire tax will be paid by Mexico, and it’s not,” Keyes said.

The import tax proposal comes after the Mexican government vehemently denied it would be paying for the border wall. It is still unclear how such a wall and increased tax on trade will affect the relationship between the United States and Mexico.

Justin Porter, sophomore business major, spoke of the possible negative outcomes because of the import tax.

“Anything that cuts into trade is bad because the whole purpose of trade is to be mutually beneficial, so that both parties can get rid of surplus and gain something,” Porter said.

For all the uncertainty involving the wall and its potential effects on U.S.-Mexico relations, Keyes said American citizens will have to shoulder the burden.

“At least some of that tax, if not a huge sum of that tax, is going to be paid for by American consumers through the imports,” Keyes explained, in contrast to what the Trump administration has said. “We would be paying for the wall up front and we would be paying for it through the tax too.”

As the Trump administration continues to search for ways to deliver upon its border-wall promises, Americans will wait to see how their wallets will be affected despite the assertions they will not be.

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