By Richard Rubin

The White House says it will pay for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border by taxing imports as part of a broader tax code overhaul, effectively endorsing an idea President Donald Trump criticized two weeks ago.

In remarks to reporters, press secretary Sean Spicer said a plan was "taking shape now" to institute a 20% tax on imports from countries with which the U.S. runs a trade deficit, "like Mexico." That is the same "border adjustment" idea of taxing imports and exempting exports that House Republicans have been pushing as part of their tax agenda for 2017.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Trump made an oblique comment on the idea during a speech at congressional Republicans' retreat in Philadelphia.

"We're working on a tax reformbill that will reduce our trade deficits, increase American exports and will generate revenue from Mexico that will pay for the wall if we decide to go that route," Mr. Trump said.

--Siobhan Hughes and Kristina Peterson contributed to this article.

Write to Richard Rubin at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 26, 2017 15:57 ET (20:57 GMT)

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