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

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Some Hope candidates say it’s high time to lift pot sales prohibition

Mayoral and council candidates weigh in on repealing bylaw amendment 1428

Hope’s mayoral candidates talk vision, infrastructure and more at all candidates meeting

Hope’s three mayoral hopefuls speak their mind ahead of Oct. 20 election

Voting in Hope? Here’s what you need to know

Who can vote, what IDs to bring and how the process works in your Oct. 20 municipal election

Majority of residents who responded to survey support marijuana sales in Hope

647 responded to a District of Hope survey on the sale and use of recreational pot

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

B.C. tickets win big in Lotto Max draw

Jackpot carried over; B.C. tickets share Max Millions prizes

VIDEO: G-Men seek revenge Saturday night in rematch at Langley Events Centre

Portland’s Winterhawks downed the Vancouver Giants 5-3 during a road trip down south.

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Feds consulting on national anti-racism strategy behind closed doors

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says people still face systemic racism in some communities

UPDATE: Murder victim was brother of slain gang leader

Mandeep Grewal gunned down Thursday in Abbotsford, brother Gavin killed in North Van in 2017

Enbridge aims for mid-November to finish B.C. pipeline repair after blast

A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George caused an explosion and fireball

How to get government cheques if Canada Post staff go on strike

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said members could go on rotating strikes as early as Monday

Most Read