Trump to pay for wall by taxing US consumers & killing red state jobs

Donald Trump announced today that he will pay for “the wall” by taxing American consumers. A far cry from claiming repeatedly during the campaign that “Mexico will pay for the wall.”

Specifically, Trump is now claiming that “Mexico” will pay for the wall by a 20% tax on Mexican goods coming into the US. But Mexico won’t be paying that tax, US consumers will when prices go up for Mexican goods in US stores.

Oh, but it gets worse. Trump’s move could endanger hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of jobs in Republican-controlled states.

Mexico will surely retaliate by slapping a 20% tax on US goods heading into Mexico. And here’s the thing: While Trump claims otherwise, US trade with Mexico isn’t that lopsided. The latest annual figures from the US Trade Representative, for 2015, show the following:

The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with Mexico was -$49.2 billion in 2015. Mexico is currently our 3rd largest goods trading partner with $531 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2015. Goods exports totaled $236 billion; goods imports totaled $295 billion.

So Mexico do nearly as much damage back.

But it gets worse. Mexico is our second largest export market for goods, and our third largest market for agriculture — it’s not some little backwater that we don’t care about. More from USTR:

Mexico was the United States’ 2nd largest goods export market in 2015…. U.S. exports to Mexico account for 15.7% of overall U.S. exports in 2015.

The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2015 were: machinery ($42 billion), electrical machinery ($41 billion), vehicles ($22 billion), mineral fuels ($19 billion), and plastics ($17 billion).

U.S. exports of agricultural products to Mexico totaled $18 billion in 2015, our 3th largest agricultural export market. Leading categories include: corn ($2.3 billion), soybeans ($1.4 billion), dairy products ($1.3 billion), pork & pork products ($1.3 billion), and beef & beef products ($1.1 billion).

So Trump is threatening to start a trade war with our second largest export market — that’s not a small deal.

Now let’s look at some states in particular.

Texas sends 36% of its exports to Mexico. Arizona and California are in trouble too. From the State Department:

Mexico is the top export destination for three U.S. States (Texas, 35.7% of total exports went to Mexico in 2012; Arizona, 34.1%; and California, 16.3%) and the second most important market for another twenty states (see table below). Including the District of Columbia and other US territories (Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands), Mexico is in the top 5 export destinations for 34 states and US territories.

In Texas, 463,000 jobs rely on trade with Mexico. Arizona: 111,000. And California: 692,000.

And now, after announcing this earlier today, the White House is saying maybe they won’t do it after all.

Here is state-by-state, who exports to Mexico and how many jobs are at stake.

Mexico us state exports

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  • Whatever

    Indeed he did.

  • woodroad34

    Proving once again that Republicans can’t make the economy better. They always tax (when they say no tax), they cause more economic pain, which loses jobs (when they say the opposite). We’re heading towards another recession for which a democrat will have to get us out of.

  • Bill_Perdue

    All Democrat and Republican politicians lie all the time when

    A) they’re awake and

    B) they’re talking about political issues.

    1) Obama promised to walk the picket line, instead he busted the UAW and slashed wages and working conditions for federal employees. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SA9KC8SMu3o
    2) Obama promised to end the Afghan war by 2009 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WYTKj8pU5M

    3) Obama promised to uphold the constitution. He’s shredding it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOYyWpuEjyU
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jT8RdMxvjCg

    4) The white house keeps telling us that the Depression is over. 23 million un and underemployed say otherwise, in Harlem and elsewhere. http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/occupy-harlem-sets-record-straight-apollo-theater-protest

    5) Obama promised action on the BP spill but the BP management murderers are not in jail. Neither are the managers and owners of Massey Coal.

    6) Despite Obama’s pretense of being a fierce advocate of GLBT rights, Bill Clintons DOMA is still on the books and ENDA isn’t.

    7) Obama’s stimulus bill was corrupted by cronyism and his grasping need for ‘campaign contributions’ from businesses (read bribes) and ineffective to the point of being worthless.

    8) Obama’s ‘public option’ was dropped after $20 million in for ‘campaign contributions’ from insurance and pharmaceutical businesses (read bribes) and over twenty secret meeting with their owners. http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jul/22/nation/na-healthcare-talks22

    9) Obama’s lies that he’d end the Depression were highlighted by his hiring the same Clinton aides who created it. http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/427562/obama_taps_clinton_administration_veteran_to_be_top_economic_adviser/
    http://www.alternet.org/rss/breaking_news/286840/top_obama_economic__aide_lawrence_summers_to_leave/

    10) Obama’s promises to protect the environment were exposed when he vetoed a measure to help end air pollution. http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/09/02/1455925/white-house-quashes-stricter-pollution.html and came out for fracking and offshore drilling.
    Soon we’ll have a list just as long for Trump and at the top of that list will be his promise to ‘bring back’ jobs.

  • Joe Siegel

    Trump is going to wreck our economy. He’s a maniac.

  • Demosthenes

    Wait! Trump plans to screw over his working class voters? Wow. Shocking.

  • brel1

    Looked up “can Senate arrest the President?” and the Conservatives had lots of sites wanting to arrest President Obama. Someone should start a site for Trump and also a petition. He should be arrested for Russian ties.

  • MoonDragon

    He will say, with as close to a straight face as he can manage, that this was just a first offer in a negotiation. He’s lucky on this because, while trade is an important issue, it isn’t a particularly volatile (as in, bad options can be walked back without permanent damage.) That he is inclined to take this approach in all situations is extremely troubling. If a bullying threat in a military/diplomatic crisis is met with a forceful response, walking back from the smoking pile of rubble may not be possible.

  • Very apt comparison.

  • Niblet58

    Bannon is the “acting” president. Trump is the mouth piece. Bannon is Trump’s Cheney

  • The irony is that the states that did go for Trump are going to lose a lot of jobs. Just check out that table at the end of the article — over half a million jobs in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin alone.

  • Well, President Shoot From the Hip strikes again.

    I really miss Obama, who actually thought about what he was doing.

  • AdmNaismith

    The harder Trump leans on this ‘America First’ thing, the more face and influence we’re going to lose in the world. Unless we think globally and consider our place in it, we are going to be shut out of the conversation.

    Consider The Pacific Trade Deal- As Trump pulls us out, China will be there to fill the leadership vacuum. China has already said as much in a speech in Davos last week. (You know how everyone in ‘Firefly’ spoke Chinese? This is where it starts). Things like the Pacific Trade Deal may not be all plusses for us, but it keeps us in the game where we can lead the conversation and call some of the shots.
    In the mean time we’ll go broke building that gods damned wall instead of keeping up road & bridges, building the next generation power grid (our current one is over-burdened, dirty as hell, and prone to hacking), or keeping people healthy (all three a job producer and economic simulator).

    Not to mention the increase of unwanted population due to the unavailability of basic birth control…

  • Kenster999

    Sure would be a shame if those states that didn’t vote for Trump had a lot of people lose jobs. “Nice economy ya got there, it’d be a shame if something happened to it…”

    /s

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