Economists debunk Trump’s Twitter trade ‘facts’ against Canada

U.S. President Donald Trump made some “factual errors” in tweets about trade with Canada following the G7 summit, and his tariffs threats could be “akin to shooting oneself in the foot,” economists tell CBC News.

Trump’s criticism of U.S. trade with Canada escalated to another level after he left the summit early and then attacked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Twitter using words such as “dishonest” and “weak.”

Trump cited “facts” such as Canada’s 270 per cent tariff on dairy imports and a $100-billion trade surplus against the U.S. as evidence that Canada is charging U.S. farmers, workers and companies “massive tariffs.”

But how accurate is the data that Trump vows are facts in his tweets?

Derek Holt, vice-president of Scotiabank Economics, said the “thought processes” at the core of the U.S. administration are not grounded in “reason, diplomacy or facts.”

“A trio [Trump and top advisers Peter Navarro nd Larry Kudlow] of fast-talking gunslingers in the U.S. administration defamed Canada’s institutions, leadership, values and policies over the weekend,” said Holt, in a note on Monday. “The vulgarity of the remarks is worth a recap before turning to the factual errors that are behind their beliefs.”

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