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

WATCH: RCMP Musical Ride to perform in Hope Thursday

The countdown is on as organizers prepare for the arrival of 32 horses, riders and hundreds of spectators

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

Oversize load collides with Highway 1 overpass in Chilliwack

Traffic disrupted eastbound around Lickman Road over pass Monday morning

Climber with broken leg rescued after fall into ravine near Mt. Ogilvie

The 26-year-old had a flare to show rescuers where he was.

‘An emporium’: Pennyroyalty Thrift

A tour of shops in Hope and Fraser Canyon giving old stuff a new lease on life

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Two women face charges linked to ‘cloud gifting’ pyramid theme

Recruits were asked to ‘pay in’ with sums of up to $5,000

Group urges Canada to help Holocaust denier on trial in Germany

They’re concerned about Canada’s apparent unwillingness to come to the aid of Monika Schaefer

MGM sues Vegas mass shooting victims, argues it isn’t liable

The company argues it has “no liability of any kind” to survivors or families of slain victims

Vancouver police propose policy for victims, witnesses who are undocumented immigrants

If approved, officers will not ask about an immigration status, unless needed

Crashes reach ‘all-time high’ across B.C.: ICBC

Auto insurer recorded more than 350,000 crashes in 2017

Pressure on for ride hailing, bus options in B.C.

Premiers to press Ottawa for help replacing Greyhound service

Family thanks public 1 year after girl, 13, mysteriously killed in Burnaby park

Police have yet to identify a suspect in Marrisa Shen’s murder

Usain Bolt to make run at pro soccer in Australia

Olympic sprint great has long expressed his love of the game

Most Read