REP LIEU ASKS U.S. TRADE REPRESENTATIVE ABOUT SUPPOSED CANADA TRADE DEFICIT
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer requesting clarification on the accuracy of President Trump’s assertion that the U.S. has a trade deficit with Canada.
In the letter, Mr. Lieu writes:
I write to highlight factual discrepancies between statements by the President of the United States and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) regarding U.S.-Canada trade levels. As a Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I need to know if the Canadians and your office are not telling the truth, or if it is the President that is not telling the truth. I respectfully request an urgent clarification from your office.
On March 15, 2018, President Trump stated, “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!”
I am alarmed to learn of this alleged trade deficit given that the USTR’s public website states the opposite. According to USTR, the most recent data for the U.S. goods and services trade balance with Canada shows a $12.9 billion surplus. The Canadian Prime Minister also states that the U.S. has a trade surplus, not a deficit, with Canada. Either your office and the Prime Minister of Canada are not telling the truth, or the President is not telling the truth.
As the United States continues to work with our regional allies on trade issues, it is critical that Congress–and the public–has clear facts about current U.S. trade levels. I request that USTR immediately clarify whether the U.S.-Canada goods and services trade balance has suddenly tanked by over $12 billion and turned into a deficit.
READ THE FULL TEXT OF THE LETTER HERE