Trump made up trade claims in meeting with Trudeau

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

(HOW CAN ANYONE EVER TRUST A PRESIDENT WHO FREELY LIES TO OUR CLOSEST ALLIES AND HOW DO WE THE PEOPLE EVER TRUST A PRESIDENT WHO GOES TO SUMMITS WITH OTHER NATIONS LEADERS TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY UNPREPARED?)(Commentary by OldPoet56)

Trump says he made up trade claims in meeting with Trudeau

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump boasted at a private fundraiser Wednesday of making up trade claims during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau before knowing whether they were 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 during a speech to donors in Missouri, according to audio obtained by The Washington Post and confirmed to CNN by an attendee. “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.”
He continued: “I said, ‘Wrong, Justin, you do.’ I didn’t even know. … I had no idea. I just said, ‘You’re wrong,'” Trump recalled. “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.'”
Trump said he asked an aide to check if he was correct in telling Trudeau the US runs a trade deficit with Canada.
“I sent one of our guys out, his guy, my guy, they went out, I said, ‘Check, because I can’t believe it,'” Trump said.
“‘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.”
According to figures provided by the Commerce Department, the US ran a $2.77 billion surplus with Canada for 2017. That figure includes oil and timber. It’s unclear what Trump was referring to with the $17 billion figure.
Trump doubled down on his claim Thursday morning.
“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!” he tweeted.
Trump has similarly boasted about pressing Trudeau about the US’s supposed trade imbalance with Canada before, most recently at a December rally in Pensacola, Florida. But he didn’t include the “I didn’t even know” reference, and it’s unclear whether it was an admission that he made up the claim.
Trump’s comments came during a half-hour speech to raise money for Republican Senate candidate Josh Hawley, who’s challenging Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.
During the fundraiser, Trump also called the North American Free Trade Agreement a disaster and blamed the World Trade Organization for allowing other nations to box in the US on trade.
The President mocked other politicians for supporting NAFTA, attacking Mexico as “spoiled” and arguing that Canada had outsmarted the US, the Post reported.

U.S. And China Still In Talks Over Trade Pact

(This article is courtesy of the Shanghai China Daily News Paper)

China, US still in talks over trade pact

CHINA and the United States are still in frequent discussion about a bilateral trade pact, despite a challenging global trade environment, a Chinese commerce official said yesterday.

China is keen to maintain open markets for its goods as its economy grows at its slowest pace in 25 years, but it faces rising trade tensions as its imports deteriorate faster than exports, setting it up for another record trade surplus.

Last year, the US trade deficit with China was US$336.2 billion, according to the US Trade Representative’s office. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump threatened on Wednesday to slap tariffs on Chinese products to show that the United States is “not playing games anymore.”

The United States — China’s second-largest trade partner after the European Union — has imposed anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Chinese products and also brought cases against China at the World Trade Organization.

“The global economy has not emerged from its difficulties, which has led a lot of countries to adopt trade protectionist policies,” China’s Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang said in a rare conversation with reporters over coffee in a Starbucks cafe near Tian’anmen Square in Beijing.

Chinese steel exports have surged this year even as global growth remains weak, prompting complaints by some Western countries that China was “dumping” excess capacity.

“There is no evidence China is dumping steel products. Growth in exports is due to greater competitiveness of Chinese firms, as costs have fallen,” Shen said.

In response to claims by the head of the US Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg that China gave its exporters 10 times more financing than the United States did in 2015, Shen said there are disagreements on what constitutes subsidies. If there are disputes, the two sides can take it to the WTO, he said.

Shen did not offer any details on plans announced on Tuesday to open more sectors to foreign investment, but said foreign companies are not investing in China as much as before because competition from Chinese companies is increasing.

The biggest challenge facing China’s economy is the need to effectively implement supply-side reform to improve the structure of the economy, he said.

“There is demand for quality products, but that has to be met with effective supply. It requires innovation, which is difficult,” Shen said.

“In the past, when facing slowing growth, we would stimulate demand — loosen monetary policy, use fiscal measures,” he said.

“Now we are focusing primarily on using structural supply-side reform. This is the right direction, but it’s not easy.”