In his first formal address to the nation from the Oval Office, President Donald Trump painted a picture of a national threat and humanitarian crisis occurring along the US-Mexico border, saying his signature border wall would provide a solution.
Here’s a partial rundown of the President’s statements and the context:
Trump: “The wall will also be paid for indirectly by the great new trade deal we have made with Mexico.”
The President has made this false claim before.
Trump long ago abandoned his 2016 campaign promise that Mexico would pay to build a wall. Instead, he now makes the case that Mexico will “indirectly” pay for the barrier, thanks to the potential increase in tax revenue generated by his replacement for the North America Free Trade Agreement.
But the new deal hasn’t yet been ratified by Congress, where Democrats have expressed opposition. And even if the new United States Mexico Canada Agreement ends up raising tax revenue, there’s nothing earmarking that money for a wall. Income and corporate taxes are general revenue that would have to be appropriated by Congress.
Another way trade could bring money into the Treasury is through tariffs — which are paid by American importers when they buy foreign goods. But like the original NAFTA, the new deal aims to keep trade between the three countries largely tariff-free.