Trump gave a speech yesterday at a giant rally in Atlanta, GA. He spent a lot of time talking about his proposed plan to build a wall on the 2000 mile US/Mexico border. Check around the 1:00:00 mark in this video:
Trump’s plan to solve the immigration problem is to build a giant wall, but require that Mexico pay for it. Details as to how the US will force Mexico to do that not were not specified in the speech. On his website he posits the following as leverage: impound remittance payments derived from illegal wages, increase fees on all temporary visas issued to Mexican CEOs and diplomats, increase fees on all border crossing cards, increase fees on all NAFTA worker visas from Mexico, and increase fees at ports of entry to the United States from Mexico. Increasing tariffs and decreasing foreign aid are also options.
The Washington Examiner reports that Mexican President Enrique Nieto has publicly and repeatedly denied that Mexico would pay for such a wall, saying that “it reflects an enormous ignorance for what Mexico represents.” The cost of a wall of this magnitude would be much higher than Trump has stated, some estimates ranging to $28 billion per year to completely seal the border.
In the past Trump has claimed that the US gives “tens of billions” in foreign aid to Mexico, the actual average of US foreign aid to Mexico is closer to $250 million per year. A drop in the bucket of the proposed plan.
The entire GDP of Mexico in 2014 was $1.294 trillion. Trump’s proposal would therefore cost Mexico more than 2% of its GDP per year. Mexico has one of the lowest tax revenues as a percentage of GDP in the OECD, accounting for less than 20% of GDP, meaning that Trump’s border patrolling would cost the Mexican government about 10% of all of the tax revenue that it takes in.