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Trump Budget Plan Pays for Border Wall Without Mexico’s Help

LADB Article ID: 80244
Category/Department: Mexico
Date: 2017-03-22
By: Carlos Navarro

President Donald Trump’s early budget plan for 2017-18, released in mid-March, proposes to finance a massive barrier along the US-Mexico border entirely with US funds. The president’s decision to have US taxpayers foot the bill for the project means that he has backtracked on his earlier demand that Mexico pay for the wall. Among other things, Trump had suggested imposing a surcharge on remittances to obtain money for the project, which is estimated to cost anywhere from US$12 billion to US$21 billion. The budget proposal that Trump put forth is merely a wish list of spending requests for Congress, along with some basic economic projections. A full budget blueprint will be sent to Congress later this spring. Under Trump’s early budget plan, US$2.6 billion would be allocated for the planning, design, and initial construction of the wall. Some Mexican officials viewed the Trump government’s decision not to force Mexico to pay for the wall as a victory of sorts. “Trump is asking the Americans to pay for the wall,” Morelos Gov. Graco Ramírez, who is president of the national governors association (Conferencia Nacional de Gobernadores, CONAGO). “The first victory is ours.”

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