Even before his inauguration, President Donald Trump pledged to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and have Mexico pay for it. On Jan. 26, Trump revealed his plan to have Mexico pay for the wall.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer endorsed a piece of a broader corporate tax overhaul proposed by congressional Republicans to impose a 20 percent tax on all Mexican imports, reports The New York Times. The revenue generated by the tax would be used to fund the wall. Spicer later walked back the 20 percent tax plan's certainty, saying it was only one of a range of options.
Spicer had said the tax would raise about $10 billion a year, which would quickly cover the estimated $8-$20 billion construction costs for the border wall.
Trump spoke to a Republican Party retreat on Jan. 26, and asked the crowd to help him accomplish "great and lasting change ... This Congress is going to be the busiest Congress in decades -- maybe ever," according to The Associated Press.
An import tax would require congressional legislation to be enacted.
The same day, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto canceled a meeting with Trump that was scheduled for Jan. 31.
"This morning we have informed the White House that I will not attend the meeting scheduled for next Tuesday with the [president of the United States]," Nieto tweeted.
"If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting," Trump tweeted in response.
"Unless Mexico will treat the U.S. fairly, with respect, such a meeting is fruitless, and I want to go a different route," Trump told the GOP gathering. "I have no choice ... Border security is a serious, serious issue and a national problem. Most illegal immigration is coming from our southern border."