Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto backed out of a meeting he had planned in Washington D.C. with President Donald Trump on January 31st, after Trump signed off on an executive order ordering construction of his much-promised border wall. Nieto apparently wasn’t aware that Trump had actually planned to follow through on his campaign promises, and, for the millionth time, Nieto said Mexico wouldn’t be paying for the wall.
Prior to the cancellation, Trump tweeted that if Mexico is unwilling to pay for the wall, it would be better to cancel the meeting anyway.
So what’s next?
It’s clear the border wall is getting built regardless of who’s going to end up footing the bill – but would it be possible to get Mexico to pay for it? There are a number of ways Trump could put pressure on Mexico where it could be a better deal for them to fork over cash for the wall to avoid damage to their economy.
Speaking of damage to economies, the cost of illegal immigration to the U.S. economy comes out to $113 billion annually, but that’s a subject for a whole other article.
According to the Washington Examiner, Mexicans legally and illegally in the United States send home over $24 billion a year, a ripe tax target to build President Trump’s wall.
Trump during the campaign suggested banning the payments and using them to build the wall in a “one-time payment” of some $10 billion. Others have suggested he would tax the payments. Even at the lowest 10 percent IRS tax rate, enough could be generated in Trump’s first term to complete the partially-built wall, or about $10 billion.