PHILADELPHIA — President Trump, addressing congressional Republicans, applauded the House GOP plan to tax imports while exempting exports as a means to create revenue from Mexico to pay for a border wall.
[Daily News| January 26, 2017 |Inside US Trade]
“We’re working on a tax reform bill that will reduce our trade deficits, increase American exports and will generate revenue from Mexico that will pay for the wall if we decide to go that route,” Trump told the Republican caucus on Jan. 26 at a joint House and Senate retreat here.
Trump, speaking about the legislative agenda, echoed House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Ways & Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady’s (R-TX) description of a “bold” tax reform plan, which he said is “at the center” of the GOP’s agenda. Trump added that the tax reform legislation is aimed at reducing U.S. trade deficits.
Trump’s spokesman, Sean Spicer, told the White House press pool en route to Washington after Trump’s speech that the administration has “been in close contact with both houses in moving forward and creating a plan.”
He did not give significant details about how the tax would work, and, according to White House pool reports, described it as the beginning of a process toward overall tax reform.
“When you look at the plan that’s taking shape now, using comprehensive tax reform as a means to tax imports from countries that we have a trade deficit from, like Mexico. If you tax that $50 billion at 20 percent of imports — which is by the way a practice that 160 other countries do — right now our country’s policy is to tax exports and let imports flow freely in, which is ridiculous,” Spicer said.