Washington, Mar 15 (EFE).- President Donald Trump admitted that in talking with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau he spontaneously made up his claim that the US had a trade deficit with its northern neighbor without knowing whether or not that was true, The Washington Post reported.
Trudeau, a “nice guy, good-looking guy, comes in – ‘Donald, we have no trade deficit.’ He’s very proud because everybody else, you know, we’re getting killed,” Trump told guests at a private fundraiser in St. Louis on Wednesday.
“So, he’s proud. I said, ‘Wrong, Justin, you do.’ I didn’t even know. … I had no idea. I just said, ‘You’re wrong.’ You know why? Because we’re so stupid,” Trump said, according to a tape of the event, to which the daily received access.
Figures from the Office of the US Trade Representative indicate that the United States had a $12.5 billion goods and services trade surplus with Canada in 2016.
On Thursday morning, however, Trump repeated his erroneous claim on Twitter, saying that “We do have a Trade Deficit with Canada, as we do with almost all countries (some of them massive).”
“P.M. Justin Trudeau of Canada, a very good guy, doesn’t like saying that Canada has a Surplus vs. the U.S.(negotiating), but they do…they almost all do…and that’s how I know!” Trump continued in his tweet.
North of the border, meanwhile, Trump’s admissions were causing indignation.
“Canada and the United States have a balanced and mutually beneficial trading relationship,” the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. “According to their own statistics, the US runs a trade surplus with Canada.”
One of those expressing indignation over Trump’s fundraiser admission that he had made up the idea of a US trade deficit with Canada was former US Ambassador to Ottawa Bruce Heyman, who served under former President Barack Obama but left the post in January 2017.
“Creating a crisis where none existed before is no way to run our country,” Heyman tweeted. “Canada is our best friend and don’t ever forget it! We should never put the relationship at risk.”
He added: “When I left it was the best relationship the U.S.A. had in the world. The President is casually throwing Canada under the bus and this is just wrong.”
Heyman also said that Canada and the US have a trade relationship worth $630 billion per year in goods and services, adding that it is “balanced” trade that has fluctuated slightly over the years resulting in relatively small surpluses or deficits.