WASHINGTON, May 31, 2019 — White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday said President Trump’s plan to levy as much as a 25 percent tax on Americans’ purchases of Mexican imports is necessary because Congress won’t do his bidding on immigration.
“Congress should actually fix the laws and we wouldn’t have this problem,” Sanders said while speaking to reporters outside the West Wing.
Sanders conceded that Americans should not have to bear the brunt of Trump’s trade policies, suggested the tariffs would be made unnecessary if Mexico were to close its’ border with Guatemala or forcibly return the “outrageous numbers” of US-bound migrants to their countries of origin.
“They have absolute authority to do a lot more than what they are doing,” she said before suggesting that Mexico has the legal authority to keep migrants from leaving the country through its northern border.
“They see this and they have the ability to stop it. They also have the legal authority to return them back home.”
“If they take that action, it will make a huge difference and we’re simply asking them to do that.”
On Thursday, Trump announced that he’d impose a five percent tariff on all imports from Mexico beginning June 10, unless Mexico took action to stop South and Central American migrants from reaching the United States.
According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, Mexico is the United States’ third-largest trading partner and second-largest source of imported goods. In 2018, Americans imported $371.9 billion worth of goods from Mexico, including $94 billion in vehicles $64 billion in electrical machinery $63 billion of other machinery, and $15 billion in medical instruments. It is also the United States’ largest supplier of agricultural products, having sold $26 billion worth of fruits, vegetables, and other products here in 2018.
If Mexico does not satisfy the Trump administration’s demands, the President has threatened to raise tariffs on all Mexican imports as high as 25 percent, meaning Americans will pay as much as an additional 25 percent tax on anything they purchase that originated in Mexico.
Sanders dismissed concerns that the new tariffs would impact plans for Congress to ratify the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement he has touted as a replacement for the Clinton-era North American Free Trade Agreement, and said lawmakers should vote for the USMCA when their constituents would still have to pay higher tariffs.
“They [Congress] should go through with it because it’s good for American workers and it’s good policy. It’s good for farmers, it’s good for manufacturers, it’s good for unions, it’s good for everybody,” she said. “It’s a great deal and it’s something that we should move forward with.”
When reminded that NAFTA — currently the law of the land in the United States, Mexico and Canada — prohibits tariffs on at least half of Mexican imports, Sanders ignored the question and said Trump “is concerned about national security” and “protecting Americans.”
“That’s his number one focus,” she said.
Trump Says Latest Tax Hike Shows U.S. Is ‘Winning’ China Trade War
WASHINGTON, May 14, 2019 — The Treasury Department’s collection of more than one hundred million dollars in taxes from American companies and consumers is evidence that the United States is “winning” a trade war with China, President Trump said on Tuesday.
“I think we’re winning it, we’re going to be collecting over one hundred million dollars in tariffs,” he said while speaking to reporters before departing the White House on Marine One.
“Our people, if they want, can buy from some place else other than China, or really, the idea is that they can make their product in the USA,” he added.
Although tariffs are import taxes which are paid by American corporations and consumers, the President has spent nearly two years falsely claiming that tariffs he has imposed on Chinese steel, aluminum, and consumer goods are paid by China as some sort of fee paid for access to American markets.
But despite his insistence that his tariffs have resulted in China paying money into the United States’ coffers, the cost of these tax increases has been borne by American consumers in the form of higher prices passed on to them by companies that pay tariffs on imported Chinese goods, and by American farmers who’ve been hurt by the retaliatory tariffs China has imposed on American agricultural products.
Trump’s solution to the economic pain felt by farmers in states that supported him in the 2016 election has been to claim — without evidence — that his trade policies will eventually benefit farmers, and to push for massive government subsidy payments to soybean farmers and others who’ve been unable to sell crops they could previously sell in Chinese markets.
“Our great Patriot Farmers will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of what is happening now. Hopefully China will do us the honor of continuing to buy our great farm product, the best, but if not your Country will be making up the difference based on a very high China buy,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday morning.
“This money will come from the massive Tariffs being paid to the United States for allowing China, and others, to do business with us,” he added.