United States President Donald Trump boasted on Wednesday that he had made up information in a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, The Washington Post reported.
He said he was not aware whether the US had a trade deficit with Canada, but still insisted to Trudeau that it had – “because we [US] are so stupid – and I thought they [Canada] were smart”.
The US has a trade surplus with Canada, according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative.
“Trudeau came to see me,” Trump said at a fundraising event in Missouri mimicking the Canadian leader. “He is a good guy, Justin. He said, ‘No, no, we have no trade deficit with you, we have none. Donald, please’. Nice guy, good-looking guy, comes in – ‘Donald, we have no trade deficit.’”
To this, Trump claimed to have told Trudeau: “Wrong, Justin, you do.”
“I didn’t even know,” Trump said at the event. “I had no idea. I just said, ‘You’re wrong.’”
The US president said he then sent a staff member to check. “Well, sir, you’re [Trump] actually right,” the staffer came back and told Trump. “We have no deficit, but that does not include energy and timber...And when you do, we lose $17 billion [Rs 1.1 lakh crore] a year.”
Trump has often criticised the US’ trade practices and claims the US runs trade deficits with major economies because of policies of his predecessors.
He also lashed out at major allies and global economies, accusing the European Union, China, Japan and South Korea of cheating the United States for decades. The allies only care about themselves and not about the United States, Trump alleged.
He also seemingly warned South Korea that the US would withdraw its troops stationed in the country if it did not agree with Washington’s demands. “We have a very big trade deficit with them, and we protect them,” the president said at the event in Missouri. “We lose money on trade, and we lose money on the military. We have right now 32,000 soldiers on the border between North and South Korea. Let’s see what happens.”