If you ask someone which of Mr. Trump’s campaign promises first come to mind, chances are that you are going to hear the border wall with Mexico frequently mentioned. This is a key part of President Trump’s plan to secure our borders and stop illegal immigration. What seemed particularly astonishing was Mr. Trump’s claim that Mexico would wind up paying for its construction, a claim prominent Mexican politicians have vigorously denied.
It’s a controversial issue for all the wrong reasons. The battle isn’t over its cost, or what it will look like, or who it might offend. Much of the opposition stems not from these issues, but from the fact that it will cut off a source of future Democratic voters. This is no wild speculation. The last election witnessed polling places that were very willing to allow those in the country illegally to vote.
While its cost might not have been a big source of debate, the issue over who will pay for the wall is a big deal. Will Mexico really pay for its construction? In spite of stories to the contrary, Mr. Trump just reaffirmed that Mexico will, indeed, ultimately pay for it – and he just revealed how.
The latest news is that, “Mexico will still be paying for the wall. They will be reimbursing the American taxpayer ‘at a later date.’ This makes sense to me, it isn’t like the Mexican government was just going to cut us a check. Trump says that the wall payment will be discussed during negotiations with Mexico, presumably when the countries are re-negotiating the NAFTA trade deal.”
Mr. Trump also dealt with claims to the contrary by Mexico’s president: “As for the President of Mexico refusing to pay for the wall, Trump knows that’s just him saying what he has to say to his own people.”
Trump is looking at this in the context of a larger agreement with Mexico. No doubt he realizes that were the Mexican president to capitulate and agree to write a check for the wall, that would be political suicide. So Trump cannot expect him to do that. But when combined with other negotiations, Mexico might indeed wind up paying for it.
It is quite possible that, “[D]uring NAFTA negotiations, Trump will extract concessions and strike a deal (what he’s famous for) with the Mexicans in order to get them to compensate us for building the wall. This could come in the form of tariffs, penalties, fines, and exempting certain products from the new trade deal in exchange for money going towards the wall.”
One other possible source of funding for the wall would be to reduce US direct aid to Mexico.
However he does it, there should be little doubt that it will be the result of a negotiated deal or series of deals between the US and Mexico. In any event, expect to see this construction project started within the next few months.
Source: The Political Insider