Trump it: New Delhi, Beijing, Manila and Paris may want to sit this one up and take notice. Donald Trump, Republican Presidential candidate intends to make Mexico shell out the money for the wall that he proposes to build on the United States’ southern border by cutting off remittances – transfer of money by a foreign worker to his home country .
Detailed in a two-page memo Trump has drawn up, this first-time threat, could demolish the Mexican economy, which obtains around $ 24 billion annually in remittances, and is the fifth largest remittance-receiving country in the world. The top four (for whom this step should serve as a warning about the methods Trump would deem to settle accounts): India ($ 72 billion in remittances in 2015), China ($ 64 billion), Philippines ($ 30 billion), and France ($25 billion).
The memo, with the subject line ”Compelling Mexico to Pay for the Wall,’‘ gives us an insight into the kind of bare-knuckle strategies Trump will exercise to balance out what he sees as economic injustice against the United States, including withholding of visas and trade tarrifs.
”Our approvals of hundreds of thousands of visas every year is one of our greatest leverage points,” Trump writes. ”We also have leverage through business and tourist visas for important people in the Mexican economy.”
The memo, first given to the Washington Post in April, also includes, ‘‘rationales for a number of potential intimidation tactics, including increased trade tariffs, the cancellation of visas and higher fees for border-crossing cards,” the paper said.
“Compelling Mexico to Pay for the Wall ” Memo: a statutory warning for India?
The memo is specific to Mexico, although given his intense opinion on building the border wall, it suggests that Trump won’t hesitate to employ strong-arm tactics, including financial pressure, to coerce any country that will not follow his lead.
Already, he has declared a warning to NATO partners and US allies such as Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia that they have to give out what virtually amounts to ”protection money” – paying more money to Washington for American security guarantees.
According to Trump, they are all underpaying, while taking advantage of the United States and enjoying benefits at the expense of the American economy.
President Obama himself has slammed the ideas and stated foreign leaders are showering him with questions ”about some of the wackier suggestions” coming from Trump.
‘‘This is just one more example of something that is not thought through and is primarily put forward for political consumption,” Obama said after reports about the Trump memo surfaced in April. The implications with respect to ending remittances…are massive, he warned, noting that if the Mexican economy collapses as a result, ”it would end up sending more immigrants north because they can’t find jobs back in Mexico.”