U.S. President Donald Trump, shown with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House last year, told a fundraiser that after Trudeau told him the U.S. does not have a trade deficit with Canada, he replied, “Wrong, Justin, you do.” The Canadian Press/Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Trump says he made up facts about trade deficit in meeting with Trudeau

Trump told a fundraiser that after Trudeau told him the U.S. does not have a trade deficit with Canada, he replied, “Wrong, Justin, you do.

U.S. President Donald Trump boasted in a fundraising speech in Missouri on Wednesday that he made up facts about trade in a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, according to a recording of the comments obtained by The Washington Post.

The newspaper said in a report posted on its website that Trump had insisted to Trudeau that the United States runs a trade deficit with its neighbour to the north without knowing whether or not that was the case.

Related: Trudeau: Canada won’t be a back door for cheap steel

Trump said on the recording that after Trudeau told him the U.S. does not have a trade deficit with Canada, he replied, “Wrong, Justin, you do,” then added, “I didn’t even know … I had no idea.”

The president said he then “sent one of our guys out” to check the prime minister’s claim.

“Well, sir, you’re actually right,” Trump says in the recording. “We have no deficit but that doesn’t include energy and timber … and when you do, we lose $17 billion a year. It’s incredible.”

Trump regularly bemoans a trade deficit with Canada and complained about it in late February by saying: “We lose a lot with Canada. People don’t know it. Canada’s very smooth. They have you believe that it’s wonderful. And it is, for them. Not wonderful for us.”

But a different story is told in the recently released 2018 White House “Economic Report of the President” — an annual document prepared by Trump’s own team which bears his signature and contradicts a number of trade statements and policies already articulated by him.

Related: Trump’s new economic aide calls Trudeau ‘crazy’ lefty

One example involves the supposed trade deficit with Canada. Trump keeps insisting it exists, but the document he signed states Canada is among the few countries in the world with whom the U.S. runs a surplus.

The document states: “The United States ran a trade surplus of $2.6 billion with Canada on a balance-of-payments basis.”

Bruce Heyman, the U.S. ambassador to Canada until January, blasted Trump in a series of tweets early Thursday while also apologizing to Canada for Trump’s reported comments.

“Lying to your friends only hurts the relationship,” he wrote. “Canada has been there for us thru thick and thin. How can you casually damage this relationship? Shame on you!”

Heyman added that the president is “casually throwing Canada under the bus and this is just wrong.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Child airlifted to hospital after crash in rural Langley

Jaws of life were used to cut off the roof of a car and free its occupants from a two-car accident.

Sometimes it’s okay to simply try

I feel like a success even though I failed at donating blood

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Air quality advisory continues in the Lower Mainland

Smoke from Interior fires brings fine particulate

VIDEO: Mud racing makes annual Chilliwack stop

Family-friendly North West Mud Racing Association event returns for fourth stop of circuit

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights are misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Most Read