Friday, March 16, 2018

Trump lies about trade deficit and brags about his truthiness

If you are not surprised by my headline then that says something awful about what Donald Trump has done to our nation - and continues to do every single day. Here’s an example cued by 538’s Significant Digits email.

$12.5 billion
The U.S. trade surplus with Canada in 2016 — as in, we export $320.1 billion worth of goods and services up north and they send $307.6 billion worth of goods and services down south, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. It’s not like anyone is winning or losing here anyway; both nations are better off for having the traded items. It’s called trade, and we’re partners, but despite all that, President Trump in a call apparently attempted to hassle Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over a trade deficit that did not in fact exist. [ABC News]

ABC News reports that Canada disputes Trump on trade, White House insists he’s right. Snippets follow.

Trump was at a fundraiser and claimed that the US has a trade deficit with Canada - a claim disputed by Canada and one disproved by the US’s own trade data. But Trump, characteristically, tweeted his defense and doubled down on his ignorance by citing truthiness.

Donald J. Trump
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!
6:29 AM - Mar 15, 2018

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, which is a part of the Executive Office of the President, does not support the president’s claim, according to its own website.

“U.S. goods and services trade with Canada totaled an estimated $627.8 billion in 2016,” the USTR’s website says. “Exports were $320.1 billion; imports were $307.6 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade surplus with Canada was $12.5 billion in 2016.”

But White House press secretary Sarah Sanders stood by the president’s claim during Thursday’s briefing, explaining the president was actually referring to the U.S. trade deficit with Canada on goods, omitting the large U.S. trade surplus on services.

But even there the Suckabee was wrong.

In the February 2018 Economic Report of the President, the White House argued specifically it would be misleading to characterize the U.S. trade relationship with a foreign country based only on trade in good.

“Focusing only on the trade in goods alone ignores the United States’comparative advantage in services, which rose as a share of U.S. exports to 33.5 percent through 2017:Q3,” the economic report says.

The bottom line here is that once again Trump displays his ignorance and his PR person defends his right to not know sh!t about anything. The new thing in this report is that Trump brags about making sh!it up.

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