President Trump promised to build a wall on the Southern border and that Mexico would pay for it. Now, Mexican officials are lobbing a series of empty threats at President Trump to avoid paying their dues.
Now, Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray is contemplating charging Americans a fee for crossing the border into Mexico. “We could explore–not necessarily a visa, that could impede a lot of people from coming to Mexico–but we could perhaps [issue] a fee associated with entry,” Videgaray said, according to Fox News.
Luis Videgaray issued the empty threat shortly after Republicans in the House introduced a bill that would provide funding for President Trump’s border wall.
Representatives Mike Rogers (R-AL), and Lou Barletta (R-PA), have introduced a bill that would provide funding for the southern border wall by charging a 2 percent fee for remittances, reports The Washington Times. A remittance is when an immigrant sends money earned in America to family or friends living in their home country.
“This bill is simple, anyone who sends their money to countries that benefit from our porous borders and illegal immigration should be responsible for providing some of the funds needed to complete the wall,” Rep. Rogers said. “This bill keeps money in the American economy, and most importantly, it creates a funding stream to build the wall.”
Figures differ greatly, but the American economy lost between $50 and $133 billion to remittances in 2015. Mexicans are one of the biggest beneficiaries, and remittances are one of Mexico’s leading sources of income. Remittances accounted for $24.78 billion in 2015, and rose to $26.97 billion in 2016, the highest on record, according to Fox News.
The US currently charges around 6 percent on remittances, making America one of the cheapest countries from which to send money out of the country. Canada charges double the rate to send money abroad, and most European countries hover around 8 percent.
Ultimately, the Mexican economy would perform best if Mexican officials took the hit to their image and agreed to pay for the wall in full. The cost of the wall would be minimal in comparison to taxing remittance payments or any of the empty threats lobbed at US citizens by Luis Videgaray.
Tourism is a central component of the Mexican economy. A 2014 report revealed that Americans represent the vast majority of visitors to their country. Even a small fee to cross the border would greatly limit the number of Americans making the trek into Mexico each year. However, Videgaray’s other threats would be much more costly.
Mexico is considering a border fee for visitors. Should the US consider a remittance fee for funds flowing into Mexico?
“If the negotiation on other themes — immigration, the border, trade — isn’t satisfactory to Mexico’s interests, we will have to review our existing cooperation,” Videgaray threatened. “This would be especially in the security areas…and that involves the national immigration agency, the federal police and of course, the armed forces.”
Essentially, the Mexican foreign secretary is threatening to end all collaboration between Mexican authorities and American forces in the battle against the international and Mexican drug cartels. The United States spends a considerable amount of money fighting the drug lords that endanger America, which has the added benefit of keeping Mexico safe.
Mexican officials have an important decision to make. Either capitulate and pay for the wall, or cut off the nose to spite the face. The latter would be costly on many levels.