We have actually been puzzled about why candidate Donald Trump was reluctant to present a very easy, factual and reasonable outline of how it is entirely possible for U.S. policy to incentivize Mexico to pay for the Southern Border Security Wall.
One of the reasons we’ve been puzzled, is simply because the process itself is very easy to initiate. Personally I think Trump is sandbagging on many of these solutions, preferring to hold back the substance of the policy proposals for the General Election.
However, today Donald Trump presented the simple outline (pdf below) and the liberal media is apoplectic.
In addition, when President Obama received a question about it, Obama showed just how insufferably naïve he is regarding the economics of the proposal.
Here’s the basics. Mexico takes in approximately $25 billion in money transfers to their economy, mostly from the U.S., per year. These transfers of cash are called “remittances”. Trump is proposing a Money Services Compliance action, via the U.S. Treasury (Banking Services and Secrecy Act), that would force a Western Union affidavit (or other institution) to be completed prior to the transfer.
The Money Services Compliance Affidavit simply requires the sender present valid ID and fill out a form prior to the transfer which identifies the sender as a legally authorized entity within the U.S. An identical system has been in place for decades for financial services and money transfers sent to Cuba, a Cuban Remittance Affidavit.
The process is well known in the banking and money services industry and is nothing more than a swearing of legality, along with documentation to verify (state issued ID), by the originating entity. For Cuban remittances there are also maximum amounts allowable for transfer.
For President Obama to state the following when questioned by the media shows an abject disconnect and naiveté about the entire process already in place:
…”The implications in regards to ending remittances, many of which by the way are from legal immigrants, and are from individuals who are sending money back to their families, are enormous. First of all, they’re impractical. […] The notion that we’re going to track every Western Union bit of money that is being sent to Mexico, uh, good luck with that”….
The Trump outline was a two page memo sent to the Washington Post which showcases the economics of the issue. In addition to the $25 billion in annual remittances, there’s a $58 billion annual trade deficit. The total cost of the Southern Border Security wall would be somewhere around $10 billion.
It would simply be in Mexico’s best interest to fund the wall – it really is a no-brainer.
Even a 4% surcharge on remittances (our initial thoughts on the issue) would net the U.S. Treasury approximately $1 billion per year. With 10 year budget proposals the remittance surcharge would pay for the wall by itself even without any action from Mexico.
Here’s Trump’s memo to the Washington Post:
Here’s the Washington Post Response – SEE HERE.
In addition we should note the outline was sent to Bob Woodward and Robert Costa several days ago. It’s transparently obvious Woodward and Costa made a conscious decision to withhold presentation/discussion in advance of the Wisconsin primary because it would could very well have benefitted Trump to have this discussion earlier than today.