Here’s why the new trade deal with Mexico likely won’t pay for a southern border wall, despite Trump’s claims

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he visits the banks of the Rio Grande River with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents during the president's visit to the U.S. - Mexico border in Mission, Texas, January 10, 2019.










Leah Millis | Reuters

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he visits the banks of the Rio Grande River with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents during the president’s visit to the U.S. – Mexico border in Mission, Texas, January 10, 2019.

President Donald Trump once assured enthusiastic crowds that Mexico would pay for his proposed border wall — even outlining a “one-time payment” proposal as a candidate. Now he says the wall would be funded “indirectly” through new revenue streams or savings created by a renegotiated trade deal.

a large part of the federal government remains closed after three weeks as Trump continues to insist that Congress approve funding for the wall, while Democrats refuse to budge in their opposition to the barrier.

As a presidential candidate, Trump’s insistence that Mexico would pay for a concrete wall along the border was a central feature of his rallies. But Mexican leaders have said from the start of Trump’s presidency that they would not subsidize the multibillion-dollar infrastructure project, which would take several years to complete and would probably face numerous legal challenges. Trump has argued that the wall is necessary because he claims there is a “crisis” and an “invasion” occurring at the border.

In December, Trump tweeted that Mexico would be “paying (indirectly) for the Wall through the new USMCA.” He also claimed that it would bring “far more money” to the U.S. than the existing deal, the North American Free Trade Agreement.

On Thursday, Trump again tied the wall to the trade deal. “During the campaign, I said Mexico would pay for it,” Trump told reporters. “They are paying for it with the incredible deal we made, the USMCA.”

“Obviously I never meant Mexico would write a check,” Trump said.

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