Trump’s Wall Will Harm Businesses
President Trump’s first week in office has been quite tumultuous. As Trump has received as much criticism as he has praise from the signings of his executive orders. Trump has signed several executive orders, some pertaining to immigration, some pertaining to the Dakota Pipeline and some to pertaining to the controversial wall. All of which were met with severe public backlash and protests.
The 109th congress approved the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which authorized the building of a barrier along the Mexican-American Border. It is not Trump’s wall, which the media incorrectly refers to it as because it was already passed through congress in 2006 before Trump was involved with politics. According to the Boston Globe, it was former President Barack Obama who said this of the Secure Fence Act of 2006 “‘[t]he bill before us will certainly do some good,’ [it will provide] better fences and better security along our borders’ [and would] ‘help stem some of the tide of illegal immigration in this country.’” The former president was not the only reputable Democrat to support the Secure Fence Act, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer also supported it.
Trump is now, as head of the executive branch, ensuring that the law is upheld. Trump believes that he is upholding the law, which is quite puzzling even to some Republicans. It has been reported by the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and even Buzzfeed that Trump has ordered Mexico to pay for the wall. Both Democrats and Republicans will agree that Mexico is a sovereign state. This means that the United States has no jurisdiction to dictate orders to Mexico. Per NPR this has left “[t]he Trump administration [to consider] alternative ways to pay for the border wall, backtracking on the president's oft-repeated promise that Mexico would foot the bill.” One of the alternative ways that the administration has come up to pay for the wall is to place a tax on imports. NPR reports that a White House spokesperson stated that there will be “a 20 percent tax [increase] on imports from Mexico, as well as other countries with which the U.S. has a trade deficit. That would effectively saddle U.S. consumers with a significant portion of the wall's cost, estimated at $15 billion or more.” According to CBS News, the United States imports automobiles, electrical machinery, agricultural products, and mineral fuel (oil) just to name a few. Mexico is one of the United States’ largest exporters as it is just behind China and Canada. The proposed tax would severely hurt American consumers as well as American business. CW 6 in San Diego quotes a professor from San Diego State University, Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes, who posits that “[w]e could lose a lot of American jobs if Mexicans decided not to purchase our products.” A boycott would hurt businesses by reducing their revenue. Thus, when companies make less revenue they call for layoffs, they close businesses, and they hire less people. This would hinder our growing economy. We need to grow companies not limit their potential.
Coca-Cola, General Motors, Apple, and Citigroup (which owns the National Mexican Bank) are just a few of the companies who are right across the border. The proposed tax would negatively impact these businesses and could cause massive global repercussions. The New York Times states that “by sharply increasing the prices of imported goods or reducing profits for the companies that produce them. Other nations could retaliate, prompting a trade war that could hit consumers around the globe.” Trump needs to remember that the United States cannot not just stop trading with other nations on a whim, as that could disturb the whole economic system worldwide. If the United States is affected, then so is the rest of the world, and if a situation is dire here than it is most likely worse in another country.
Not only would the manufacturing industry be hurt by the proposed import tax, but so would trucking companies and railroads as they would then be forced to go through the wall. The trucking companies and railroads would probably face a new tax to go through the wall once built, and thus pass along the tax to the consumer. Unfortunately, there is not much clarity when it comes to the proposed tax as the Trump administration has not laid out all of the details.
The wall, as Trump’s signature election promise, will negatively impact American businesses, which influence the world on a daily basis. Trump also promised during his election that he would improve the business sector. The proposed plan seems to put business improvement and the implementation of the wall at odds with each other. There seems to be little evidence that would suggest that there will be an improvement. The New York Times has little evidence that shows that the wall would help businesses, but it states that contractors would benefit from the building of the wall. However, the contracting jobs are only temporary, as someday the wall will be completed, and the contractors will be out of a job.
Hopefully, as Trump adjusts to his life in the White House he will be able to use his business skills to make improvements to the business sector rather than hamper them.
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