In a fundraising speech in Missouri this evening, Trump says he made up a trade claim with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Trump makes up dialogue from Trudeau:
“‘Donald, we have no trade deficit.’ 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.
That’s not all he said.
In his 30-minute speech to donors in Missouri, Trump lavished praise on himself while ticking through a list of U.S. allies that he said were actually taking advantage of the United States.
The through lines of his meandering speech were simple: Trump was tougher than all the rest, and the United States was not going to be laughed at or taken advantage of.
He accused Japan of using gimmicks to deny U.S. auto companies access to their consumers, said South Korea was taking advantage of outdated trade rules even though its economy was strong and said China had single-handedly rebuilt itself on the back of its trade surplus with the United States.
“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.
You know, he’s said to be a lifetime non-drinker, but this kind of speech makes me wonder. If he’s not drinking or ingesting, then his brain may be going.