On Thursday, Donald Trump announced that he’d finally succeeded in paying for a border wall between the United States and Mexico. During his campaign and regularly since his victory, the President has claimed that Mexico will pay for construction of the wall — which Mexican officials have repeatedly denied.
Now, Trump appears to have a new angle for building his wall. In a series of Tweets Thursday morning, the President stated that his NAFTA-replacement trade deal with Canada and Mexico will fund the wall instead, as reported by Business Insider.
“I often stated, ‘One way or the other, Mexico is going to pay for the Wall.'” Trump said on Twitter. “This has never changed. Our new deal with Mexico (and Canada), the USMCA, is so much better than the old, very costly & anti-USA NAFTA deal, that just by the money we save, MEXICO IS PAYING FOR THE WALL!”
Trump’s statements come after a shaky attempt to lobby Congress for $5 billion in funding to build the wall. Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer shot back at the idea, leaving Trump to threaten a partial government shutdown if an agreement could not be reached.
Mexican officials have repeatedly refused to cover the cost for the wall, despite repeated requests from the Trump administration. They have indicated that paying for the wall was not addressed in any of the trade-deal negotiations.
I often stated, “One way or the other, Mexico is going to pay for the Wall.” This has never changed. Our new deal with Mexico (and Canada), the USMCA, is so much better than the old, very costly & anti-USA NAFTA deal, that just by the money we save, MEXICO IS PAYING FOR THE WALL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2018
The wall has become something of a sore spot in recent weeks for Trump. It was one of his major campaign promises during the 2016 election. During that time he repeatedly stated that Mexico would pay for the wall, a fact that Mexican officials angrily denied.
Now, with supporters wondering if he intends to follow through on this promise, Trump is struggling to make the wall a reality. He’s attempted to use taxpayer money to get the wall built, despite intense pushback from Democrats.
In November, Trump joined Mexican and Canadian leaders to rework the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The new deal, which has been renamed the USMCA, is still waiting on approval from Congress. Several Democrats have already indicated they have some issues with the document and will be demanding changes before giving it their approval.
Even if it does go through, experts are uncertain as to how it would add up to paying for the border wall. The money received from the deal would actually be taxpayers money, meaning that it would be the American people — rather than Mexico — who would end up paying for the border wall.