Diary

The Art of the Deal: Build the Wall then Mexico Will Pay for It

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President-elect Trump is being attacked for saying he will build the border wall first and then get Mexico to pay for it.

Donald Trump is exactly right to get started right away because he knows the “art of the deal.”

Imagine if instead Trump begged for money from Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and patiently waited for Mexico to pay for the wall in advance. President Peña Nieto would just laugh and stall forever. That would give Mexico all the leverage in the deal, and the wall would never get built.

Unlike President Obama, Trump knows how to win negotiations.

Donald Trump will build the wall and can then impose a small tax on money transfers or imports so the wall can be completed within his first term.

Mexico will then have no choice but to swallow the small cost (relative to the value of their exports to the U.S.) of the wall.

Interestingly, Peña Nieto’s objections to the wall may be more for his own leverage or domestic consumption than a genuine objection to a wall. After all, Mexico has fortified their own southern border for similar reasons.

Both Trump and Peña Nieto found common agreement on reasons to secure both of Mexico’s borders to halt the flow of illegals from Central America through Mexico to the United States, as well as halting drug, weapons and human smuggling across the borders.

Trump’s remarks in his 2016 meeting with President Peña Nieto: We all share a common interest in keeping our hemisphere safe, prosperous and free. No one wins in either country when human smugglers and drug traffickers prey on innocent people, when cartels commit acts of violence, when illegal weapons and cash flow from the United States into Mexico or when migrants from Central America make the dangerous trek — and it is very, very dangerous — into Mexico or the United States without legal authorization.

As president, Donald Trump will be able to build the wall within his first term, and to get Mexico to pay for the wall through small taxes on money transfers or imports.  A 2013 PEW research report states that $41 billion in remittances are sent annually to Mexico and Latin America.

The Trump transition team for DHS has been collecting data on border security as well as information relating to the construction of border fencing.

At the end of the day, both leaders share many common reasons for wanting to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.


Art Harman was the Legislative Director for Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) in the 113th Congress and is a veteran policy analyst and grass-roots political expert. His expertise includes foreign relations, border security/amnesty, national security, and NASA/space policy; and he is a frequent guest on radio shows on key policy issues.