Wall toll: Mexicans slam Trump’s idea to tax cars to fund border wall

Ciudad Juarez: Mexican officials and border town residents have criticised US President Donald Trump for threatening to levy a tax on cars crossing into the United States to fund his signature border wall.

The mayor of Ciudad Juarez, Armando Cabada, slammed Trump's proposed car tax as a political stunt aimed at garnering support ahead of the US election in November.

"It was an issue that gave him votes in the last election, and now he's using it again, in a desperate manner, to try to secure these same votes," said Cabada, whose city lies across from the Texas city of El Paso.

Trucks and cars wait to cross into the US in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. US President Donald Trump has floated the idea of taxing private vehicles to cross the border so Mexicans can fund his border wall.Credit:AP

About 73 million private vehicles crossed from Mexico into the US last year, according to data from the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics, an average of 200,000 cars every day.

Trump made the suggestion during a speech in Yuma, Arizona, on Tuesday, US time, in which he vowed Mexico was "100 per cent" paying for the wall.

"They're going to pay at the border … cars going through. We're going to do a toll," he said.

Donald Trump tours a section of the Mexican border wall in Arizona on June 23. Credit:AP

Cuidad Juarez resident Hector Escobado accused Trump of misrepresenting the plan, saying that instead of forcing Mexico to pay, the toll would tax US citizens like himself.

"Many of us are US citizens who live here in Mexico and cross back and forth almost every day. He would be charging us," he said.

The thousands of Mexicans and dual citizens who cross the border daily include essential workers who help keep US hospitals running amid the pandemic.

During his speech, Trump also reiterated his previous threats to tax the remittances sent by millions of Mexicans living in the US to their family members at home.

Mexico received $US3.5 billion ($4.9 billion) in remittances in June, the second-highest level since records began in 1995.

Reuters

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