Trump Visits Border, Says Mexico Pays for Wall w/ New Trade Deal

‘When I said Mexico will pay for the wall…obviously they’re not gonna write a check…’

(Kaylee McGhee and Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) President Donald Trump on Thursday said he hasn’t backed down from one of his central campaign promises—that Mexico’s going to pay for the wall, at least indirectly.

Trump said the repeal of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the increased revenue from the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), will more than cover the wall’s cost.

“During the campaign, I said Mexico would pay for it,” Trump said on Thursday as he left to visit the border. “They are paying for it with the incredible deal we made, the USMCA…I view that as absolutely Mexico is paying for the wall.”

White House strategic communications director Mercedes Schlapp said U.S. taxpayers, not the Mexican government, will directly foot the bill for President Trump’s proposed border wall, though it will save taxpayers money in the long-run.

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“Yes,” Schlapp admitted when asked whether taxpayers would pay for the wall. “And you know what else taxpayers are paying for? The financial burden of this illegal immigration.”

But White House Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said funding for the wall “requires appropriation” from Congress, even though the new trade deal will offset the cost.

“Mexico is paying for the wall indirectly, and when I said Mexico will pay for the wall in front of thousands and thousands of people, obviously they’re not gonna write a check,” Trump said, according to CNN. “But they are paying for the wall indirectly many, many times over by the really great trade deal we just made.”

Schlapp said the USMCA will also “bring more jobs back to America.”

“It’s bringing more business back to America and it’s also going to keep our wages up,” she told CNN. “So this trade deal, in effect, does help pay for our border security.”

Trump criticized NAFTA as the “single worst deal ever approved.”

“It’s been very, very bad for our companies and for our workers, and we’re going to make some very big changes or we are going to get rid of NAFTA once and for all,” Trump said in 2017.

The president has demanded $5.7 billion from Congress for the construction of the border wall, but the Democrats have refused to approve any funds for the wall, claiming it would be “immoral.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., listed several border security measures Democrats would support after Trump’s Oval Office address, but none of them included a wall because the crisis at the border isn’t a “security one,” Pelosi said, it’s a “humanitarian” one.

“Democrats in Congress have refused to acknowledge the crisis,” the president said during his Oval Office address. “The federal government remains shut down for one reason, and one reason only: Because Democrats will not fund border security.”

Schlapp urged Democrats to end their obstruction and find a compromise that works for both parties.

“We want an orderly, legal immigration process,” Schlapp said.