Costa Statement on Executive Order to Build Wall on the U.S.-Mexico Border

Jan 26, 2017
Press Release

FRESNO, CA - Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. 

“Building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border is not a real solution to fixing our broken immigration system and does little, if anything, to improve our national security. To no surprise, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto reiterated once again that Mexico will not be paying for the wall and cancelled next week’s meeting with President Trump. In his usual fashion, President Trump spoke without careful consideration and expressed support for a 20 percent tax on imports from Mexico to pay for the wall. If implemented, a 20 percent import tax on Mexican goods would accelerate a trade war between the United States and Mexico. We saw similar effects of these types of trade wars most recently during the U.S.-Mexico trucking dispute, which took place for seven years between 2009-2015, when Mexico legally imposed retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports. The California agriculture industry bore the brunt of those retaliatory tariffs. If President Trump and Republicans in Congress move forward with putting a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports, then California products are likely to be immediately impacted. 

“In addition to the economic effects of building a wall and imposing a tax on Mexican goods, immigrant children and their families are fearful of being deported. President Trump’s executive order only further divides our country and raises alarm among immigrant families.

“President Trump’s first week in office has demonstrated his lack of diplomatic experience, which is greatly alarming to me and to U.S. allies. Off-the-cuff remarks may work as a private citizen, but are not appropriate, raise alarm, and have the potential to cause economic calamity when coming from the President of the United States. I genuinely would like to work with the President, but I will not stand-by as he works to implement policies that hurt immigrant communities, negatively impact California’s agriculture industry, and weaken our nation’s economy.”

Mexico is the United States’ second largest trading partner. For more information regarding the U.S.-Mexico trucking dispute and a list of affected products, please click here.