Oklahoma Lawmaker Defends Wire Money Transfer Tax

Article excerpt

An Oklahoma legislator who wrote a law imposing new fees for wire money transfers defended the measure Monday after a Mexican congressman assailed it as "discriminatory and immoral."

Mexico's House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution last week urging government agencies, including state-run oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, known as Pemex, to stop buying products from Oklahoma because of its tax on wire money transfers.

Congressman Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, president of the House's Economic Committee, said the embargo should serve as an example to other U.S. states that may consider copying Oklahoma.

"It's best that they know that Mexico will take action against states who do this," he said Monday during an interview in Spanish.

Guajardo Villarreal said his goal is to get Oklahoma to lift the tax and to get the U.S. government to intervene.

But Oklahoma Rep. Randy Terrill, who wrote the law that went into effect last year, accused Mexican lawmakers of trying to "bully" Oklahoma and called for even tougher sanctions against illegal aliens in the state.

"I think this is pretty clearly an attempt by a foreign nation to interfere with the internal affairs of a sovereign U.S. state, and I don't take too kindly to it, to be frank," said Terrill, R-Moore.

"If they're going to talk about embargoing anything, they need to start with an embargo on all those people running dope across the border into Oklahoma," he added.

The bill passed last year imposes a $5 fee on wire transfers of $500 or less. …