Trump’s modus operandi is revealed. I love this:
President Trump boasted in a fundraising speech Wednesday that he made up information in a meeting with the leader of a top U.S. ally, saying he insisted to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the United States runs a trade deficit with its neighbor to the north without knowing whether that was true.
“Trudeau came to see me. He’s a good guy, Justin. He said, ‘No, no, we have no trade deficit with you, we have none. Donald, please,’ ” Trump said, mimicking Trudeau, according to audio of the private event in Missouri obtained by The Washington Post. “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.
“… 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. … And I thought they were smart. I said, ‘You’re wrong, Justin.’ He said, ‘Nope, we have no trade deficit.’ I said, ‘Well, in that case, I feel differently,’ I said, ‘but I don’t believe it.’ I sent one of our guys out, his guy, my guy, they went out, I said, ‘Check, because I can’t believe it.’
‘Well, sir, you’re actually right. 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.”
The Office of the United States Trade Representative says the United States has a trade surplus with Canada. It reports that in 2016, the United States exported $12.5 billion more in goods and services than it imported from Canada, leading to a trade surplus, not a deficit.
Did you catch that? He thought there was a trade deficit because the US is “stupid” and Canada was “smart”. It was based his factual assertion on his opinions (and can we address the fact that his opinion of America was negative?) rather than actual data.
Trump’s lying, on the one hand, is not news. What is unusual here is that he BOASTS about it. Clearly, he sees lying as an *assertion of power.* The brazenness of Trump’s lying is not a mere by-product of his desire to mislead. It is absolutely central to the whole project of declaring the power to say what reality is.
Hours after the Post published its report about Trump’s speech, the president took to Twitter to try and defend himself.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2018
That doesn’t make it better. NOW Trump is saying there is a trade deficit with Canada because… we have a trade deficit with most countries.
THAT’S how he reaches that conclusion???
Fact: We have a trade SURPLUS with Canada.
Here’s why Trump is wrong, and this is from Politifact:
Trump seems to be referring to a deficit in goods, which tells only part of the picture. (The White House did not respond to an inquiry.)
In 2017, the United States had a $23.2 billion deficit with Canada in goods. In other words, Canada in 2017 bought more goods from the United States than the United States bought from Canada.
However, the United States had a $25.9 billion surplus with Canada in services — and that was enough to overcome that deficit and turn the overall balance of trade into a $2.8 billion surplus for the United States in 2017. The same pattern occurred in 2016.
Those unhappy with current trends in trade, such as Trump, tend to highlight the balance of trade in goods, since that subset of trade is the one that shows just how much manufacturing activity the United States has lost to foreign countries in recent years. By contrast, the United States has fared much better in services, which includes finance, insurance, legal services, business consulting and entertainment.
Trump said other crazy things in his Missouri speech too. He was actually supposed to be fundraising for Missouri candidate Josh Hawley, but just as he did for Rick Saccone in Pennsylvania, it really is all about him.
According to WaPo, he barely mentioned Hawley. He did mention how bad Hawley’s opponent, Claire McCaskill is, but everything else was self-praise, including boasting of his 2016 win.
He did mention meeting with Kim Jong-Un, and wanted those in attendance to know that he was making history.
“They couldn’t have met” with Kim, he said, after mocking former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush. “Nobody would have done what I did.”
“It’s called appeasement, please don’t do anything,” he said of other presidents.
“They say, maybe he’s not the one to negotiate,” he said, mocking a voice of a news anchor. “He’s got very little knowledge of the Korean Peninsula. Maybe he’s not the one … Maybe we should send in the people that have been playing games and didn’t know what the hell they’ve been doing for 25 years.”
While attacking Japan, he created this scenario of how Japan uses gimmicks and tricks to avoid allowing U.S. auto makers from selling to their consumers.
“It’s the bowling ball test. They take a bowling ball from 20 feet up in the air and drop it on the hood of the car,” Trump said of Japan. “If the hood dents, the car doesn’t qualify. It’s horrible,” he said. It was unclear what he was talking about.
He was talking about the voices in his head, because that’s some next-level mental breakdown stuff, right there.
He went on to say that he didn’t care to have Japan pay the tariffs, as long as they agreed to build more cars in the U.S.
The so-called free-trade globalists, he said, are against his trade moves because “they’re worldly people, they have stuff on the other side.” Gary Cohn, the president’s top economic adviser, recently quit over the tariffs and was derisively labeled by his critics as a “globalist.”
Trump mocked other politicians for wanting to keep the NAFTA, calling Mexico “spoiled” and saying that Canada had outsmarted the United States. “The best deal is to terminate it and make a new deal,” he said.
Pure protectionist horse flop.
Trump desperately wants to be seen as “historical” and he will be. No doubt about that.