President Trump Proposes 20 Percent Import Tax for Wall

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MCALLEN – A Rio Grande Valley business owner reacted to President’s Trump plan to tax Mexican imports as a way to pay for the border wall.

McAllen business owner Jesse De Leon said his company revolves around goods imported from Mexico. He said the move would have a major impact on his company.

De Leon said each piece in his unique shop originates from south of the border.

“I would say about half of the items that we sell comes in from Mexico, and the other half comes in from Mexico but as raw material. Basically antique doors, iron hardware, things like that,” he said.

He said people all over the world buy from his store of Mexican imports. He said lately they’ve been shipping to faraway places like Denmark and Ireland.

De Leon said President Trump’s plan to tax imported goods coming in from Mexico will have a big impact on businesses.

“More so for me because the majority of my items are coming from Mexico, so you have to pass that cost on and it’s just kind of unfair,” he said.

De Leon said it will also be a bad deal for the everyday shopper.

“You’re really not doing a tax on Mexico, you’re doing a tax on the consumer,” he said. “What’s going to happen is, if I have to pay the other 20 percent more for the items I get out of Mexico, guess who is going to pay the other 20 percent? It’s going to be the consumer.”

President Trump announced Thursday he will work with Congress on the details of his plan. De Leon said he knows there’s not too much he can do.

“In the end, if it happens just take the hit and that’s all you can do,” he said.  

In the meantime, De Leon said he will continue to get what he can from Mexico before any tax is put in place.

Texas alone could contribute close to $17 billion a year under a 20 percent import tax. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said about $10 billion a year could fund a border wall.

The Trump administration said they will keep working on developing their plan for funding construction of the wall. 


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