The White House can't get its story straight. Just hours after Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that the White House would impose a 20% tariff on Mexican-produced products in order to fund Donald Trump's pet border wall, he told reporters he was just spitballing, according to the New York Times. Reince Priebus, on the same conference call, called the tariff “part of a buffet of options,” according to CBS News’ Margaret Brennan. While it's unclear whether that tariff is official policy, or just another of the myriad thoughts that float through President Donald Trump's head, it did affect the value of the peso. Also, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto cancelled a meeting with Trump scheduled for today because of the controversy surrounding the wall. Senator Lindsey Graham was among the Republicans to voice his displeasure with the proposed tariff, in a now-viral tweet.
Of course, there would be consequences beyond Corona, tequila, and margaritas. Mexico is our largest supplier of fresh produce, accounting for around 70% of vegetable imports and nearly 40% of fruit imports, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Eater offers a complete list of products that would be affected by the tariff, highlighted by avocados, tomatoes, beer, tequila, sparkling water, and the far-superior Mexican Coke. Our products would likely be slapped with tariffs in return. Oh, and the tariff means that American consumers would still be paying for the wall in the form of a tax. Former Mexican President Vicente Fox offered a Twitter poll asking Americans what they would rather have the President use tax revenue to pay for.
The wall has also met with opposition within Trump's own party. Republican Rep. Will Hurd slammed the possibility of a wall when speaking to the Washington Post yesterday.