In audio of the speech obtained by the Washington Post, Trump said he argued with his Canadian counterpart that the U.S. has a trade deficit with Canada. However, that isn’t the case.
LISTEN: Audio catches President Trump boasting about fabricating trade facts during meeting with Justin Trudeau
“Nice guy, good-looking guy, comes in – ‘Donald we have no trade deficit,’” the Post reported Trump as saying. “He’s very proud because everybody else, you know, we’re getting killed. …
“So he’s proud. 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.’”
WATCH: ‘There is a trade deficit between the two countries’: WH supports Trump’s claims
Trump said he then sent a staff member out to double check the figures and when the staff member returned, he told the leaders there was a deficit.
Trudeau visited Trump in Washington in October where they discussed the ongoing NAFTA negotiations.
At a rally in December, Trump told supporters a similar story about the meeting.
“(Trudeau) said, ‘I’m telling you that Canada has a deficit with the United States.’ I told my people – in front of a lot of people – I said, ‘Go out and check’.”
He said his staff found Trudeau left out some key details, pertaining to trade in goods.
WATCH: Trudeau says Canada/US relationship ‘bigger’ than he or Trump
“(Trudeau) was right. Except he forgot two categories: Lumber, timber, and energy. Other than that, he was right. When you add them all together, we actually have a $17 billion deficit with Canada,” Trump said.
That is not actually the case.
According to statistics from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s website, it listed the U.S. trade surplus with Canada was US$12.5 billion in 2016.
*With files from Canadian Press