WASHINGTON – "I will develop a great, an excellent wall on our southerly border. And also I will have actually Mexico salary for the wall," president Donald trump card said on June 16, 2015, once he announced his White home run.

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"Mark mine words," he said. 

Americans did note – and many mocked – those words, i m sorry Trump recurring at practically every campaign stop after that announcement, up through the basic election. Yet he is now suggesting that he never ever said Mexico would certainly pay because that the wall surface directly.

"When throughout the campaign, I would say Mexico is going come pay for it, clear I never ever said this. I never ever meant they"re walk to write out a check," Trump called reporters in ~ the White house Thursday before departing because that a testimonial of the instance at the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas.


The U.S. Is now locked in a 20-day partial government shutdown – poised to become the longest in American background – over Trump"s demand that American, not Mexican, taxpayers fund the building of a border barrier. Congressional Democrats have actually repeatedly pointed come Trump"s past promises of mexican payment in your refusal to provide his request. 

"I stated they"re going to pay for it. Lock are," Trump stated Thursday. He described that Mexico would pay for the wall, i beg your pardon he now says will certainly be a steel barrier, with the reduced trade deficit the believes will result from his renegotiation the the north American free Trade Agreement.


The new deal, i m sorry the White home calls the unified States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, has actually not however been approved by Congress. Trump worried congressional democracy might try to block the deal "because they desire to execute as much injury as castle can."

"Obviously" that did not typical Mexico would cut the U.S. A check when that pledged "Mexico will certainly pay because that the wall, in former of thousands and thousands of people," that said.

"But they space paying because that the wall indirectly many, plenty of times over by the really an excellent trade transaction we simply made," trump card said. 

There space two major problems with Trump"s assertions, however.

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He did say Mexico would pay directly

During the campaign, trump card was usually vague around how Mexico would certainly pay for the wall, saying, "They will pay in one form or another." however he also floated a number of specific ideas about how Mexico would certainly pay for it.

An august 2015 project position record said "Mexico must pay for the wall surface and, till they do," the U.S. Would certainly "impound every remittance payments obtained from illegal wages," boost fees on visas and ports that entry into the U.S., and possibly implement tariffs or reduced aid. 

An April 2016 campaign memo outlined similar ways of pressuring Mexico. That setup explicitly said Mexico would make "a one-time payment the $5 - 10 billion" because that the wall. 

The memo additionally proposed threatening to block remittances from mexico nationals in the U.S. Back to Mexico – i m sorry the project said amounted to $24 billion a year. The plan was to climate "tell Mexico that if the Mexican federal government will add the funds required to the United says to pay because that the wall," the dominion blocking the money transfers would certainly not be enacted. 

"We have the leverage for this reason Mexico will earlier down," the memo said. 

A little an ext than two weeks prior to his inauguration, trump card admitted, in response to news reports, the taxpayers might have to originally pay for the "Great wall (for benefits of speed)" however vowed it "will be paid ago by Mexico later!"


On Aug. 28, 2017, Trump called reporters in ~ the White house that "it may be through reimbursement, yet one way or another, Mexico will certainly pay because that the wall." 

Trade transaction won"t pay because that wall 

A year ago, Trump called The wall Street newspaper that Mexico would pay for the wall surface "indirectly v NAFTA. OK?" 

"You know, us make a an excellent deal top top NAFTA, say i’m going to take a tiny percentage of the money and it’s going come go toward the wall. Assumption: v what? Mexico’s paying," trump said. 

Last month, trump card tweeted, "Our brand-new deal v Mexico (and Canada), the USMCA, is therefore much much better than the old, really costly & anti-USA NAFTA deal, that just by the money we save, MEXICO IS PAYING because that THE WALL!" 

But economic and trade specialists told FactCheck.org that Mexico paying because that the wall surface through the USMCA to be "not possible."

In addition to the truth that all three nations still have actually yet come ratify the agreement, the money doesn"t add up and also the entire principle is based on a misguided late of how trade works, experts said. 

"USMCA is definitely positive for the U.S. Economy but a reasonably minor upgrade to NAFTA," Kent Smetters, an business economics professor in ~ the college of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, said FactCheck. "In fact, the added revenue come U.S. Loved one to NAFTA would, optimistically, no cover yearly maintenance and improvements that the wall much much less the original build."

"In financial terms, the new deal is not, in fact, better than the old one, yet it might (only may) advantage U.S. Workers to a tiny extent," university of Michigan international business economics professor Alan Deardorff said. "I don’t watch any means that it in reality brings in money to our government." 


"Even if we accept conceptually the dispute that government revenue attributable come the modification trade agreement constitutes ‘Mexico paying for the wall,’ there are no plausible assumptions of USMCA’s affect that would see federal government revenue increase by $25 billion," stated Brookings Institution other Geoffrey Gertz, citing estimates for the expense of a concrete border wall.

Gertz also said Trump uses "a zero-sum check out of trade, whereby one country’s gains room another’s accident – i beg your pardon cuts against the usual economists’ disagreements that complimentary trade is confident sum, the both sides to the commitment benefit."