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The Revised NAFTA Deal Will NOT Fund Trump’s Border Wall, Directly or Indirectly

Statement of Lori Wallach, Director, Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch

Note: In his Oval Office address, Donald Trump again falsely claimed that somehow his revised North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA 2.0) will fund his border wall.

Donald Trump keeps repeating the ludicrous claim that somehow the revised NAFTA will fund his wall even though it remains unclear if the deal will be enacted and if it is, the text does not include border wall funding directly nor would it generate new government revenue indirectly given it cuts the very few remaining tariffs, not raises them.

A back of the envelope calculation reveals a new 20 percent tariff would have to be imposed on all imports from Mexico to put the money  to construct the wall into the U.S. Treasury and that money would come from importers, not the Mexican government. All imports into the United States from Mexico have been duty free for more than a decade, meaning that NAFTA trade does not generate money from Mexican importers for U.S. government coffers and nothing in the NAFTA 2.0 changes that.

So much for Trump’s great negotiating skills, given its obvious that trying to connect NAFTA to funding for his wall decreases the likelihood Congress passes the revised NAFTA, even if Trump’s NAFTA-wall-funding claims are entirely without merit.

Perhaps the strongest evidence that nothing in NAFTA 2.0 forces Mexico to pay for Trump’s border wall is that Mexico, which has made clear it will not pay, signed the deal.

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Stephen kelleher

Can Public Citizen adapt this message and its distribution to reach as many voters as the 110 million thst our intelligence agency’s believe the Russians reached with their quite catchy ads and robots on the internet. How does that number compare with the number that you are trying to reach now.?

Would it require more money? Why not set up a special fund that I believe many would be glad to committ to. Might even try engaging the NYT in a joint project with a view towards a similar project to reach even more voters....particularly Trump’s base of support and explain just exactly how badly the middle class and working poor are absolutely getting screwed between 2017/2027

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