President-elect Donald Trump has famously admonished companies on Twitter for their plans to move factories to Mexico, prompting a number of companies to tout their plans to invest in U.S. operations. The president-elect has even threatened to hit companies with a 35 percent “border tax” if they try to make products abroad and then import them for American consumers.
His aggressive strategy has left many wondering who, exactly, will get hit with that tax, considering that dozens of American companies have been doing it for decades. Senator Ron Wyden, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, wanted to know if working-class Americans can expect to pay more for shoes, clothes, and appliances that are made in Mexico. “Could you tell the American people what products would be subject to this tax?” Wyden asked.
Mnuchin bristled, and denied that Trump’s plan is actually a border tax. “What he has suggested is that, for certain companies that move jobs, there may be repercussions to that. He's not suggesting in any way an across-the-board 35 percent border tax.”
So what products won’t be taxed? Wyden wanted to know.
“Again, I think when he's referred to a border tax, he's referred to a small number of companies that have moved their jobs or are moving their jobs, putting products back into the United States and taxing them. So he's in no way contemplating a broad 35 percent border tax. That couldn't be further from anything that he'd possibly consider,” Mnuchin said.