In a brief gaggle on the way back from Philadelphia, Sean Spicer appeared to make some news by saying that POTUS has decided how to pay for the border wall: by imposing a 20 percent tax on all imports from Mexico.
He did not give any details about that tax, how it would work, and he described it as a beginning of a process that would be part of overall tax reform. But he did describe this as a decision that POTUS has made.
Here are the relevant quotes:
"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. By doing it that we can do $10 billion a year and easily pay for the wall just through that mechanism alone. That's really going to provide the funding."
"This is something that we've been in close contact with both houses in moving forward and creating a plan."
"It clearly provides the funding and does so in a way that the American taxpayer is wholly respected."
"We are probably the only major country that doesn't treat imports this way."
"This gets us in line frankly with the policies that the other countries around the world treat our products."