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Business mogul Mark Cuban voiced deep concerns on Friday about recent revelations that the White House is considering imposing a 20% tax on imports from Mexico and other countries in part to help pay for a massive wall along the US-Mexico border.
The Texas billionaire, who owns the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and is a star of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” tweeted that the proposal could create risk for American businesses.
“Will a trade war with Mexico escalate to the point where US owned, Mexico based plants and facilities are at risk?” he said.
A Twitter user replied to Cuban, asking if he cared more about “American workers or Mexican workers.”
“As America goes, so goes the global economy,” Cuban replied. “[Trump] cutting off our economic nose to spite our face is bad for every American.”
Cuban added that Trump should create a better business environment – such as by slashing corporate taxes, as he pledged during the campaign to do – “and get out of the way.”
“America knows how to do business,” Cuban wrote.
The 20% tax, loosely referred to as a “border-adjustment plan,” was floated by White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Thursday, but he later walked it back slightly, saying it was only one of several proposals to help finance Trump’s US-Mexico border wall. The tax would be placed on imported goods, but not on US exports, and it would be paid at the point of purchase.
It was later announced that the tax might be applied to imports from many countries and not solely Mexico.
Late on Thursday, Cuban, who was a prominent surrogate for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the campaign, said Trump would have an approval rating above 60% if he had gone about his first week differently. Most polls have Trump’s approval rating near 40% or 45%.
“If he took his time on exec orders. Didn’t talk about himself, crowd size or voter fraud and let Congress work, his approval would be >60%,” Cuban said.
He followed up, saying, “Unfortunately that’s not his DNA.”
In Cuban’s opinion, Trump “won’t be held accountable.”
“We need to hold everyone that works for him or with him accountable,” he said.