Is Trump's idea for Mexican wall tax illegal?

According to White House spokesman Sean Spicer, a tax on Mexican imports will “easily pay for the wall.”

It sounds so easy and simple. Build a physical wall and pay for it with a tariff wall.

But there is nothing easy about such a tax increase; what Trump conveniently ignores is that any tax on Mexican imports would be passed on to US consumers, manufacturers and exporters. One way or another, we will pay for that wall.

According to the Office of the US Trade Representative, Mexico is the third-largest US goods trading partner, with more than $296 billion in imports in 2015.

Based on current trade flows, a 20% tariff would effectively impose a $59.2 billion tax on US consumers who purchase Mexican imports. That means that billions of dollars’ worth of Mexican fruits, vegetables, beer, minerals, equipment and cars would all be 20% more expensive to US consumers.

Mexico also is one of our…

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