In Part 1 we noted that the Donald is on a noble mission—to blow up the G-7—-even if for the wrong reason. We are referring, of course, to his dunder-headed view that America’s giant trade deficits and vanishing breadwinner jobs are due to unfair foreign trade practices, high tariffs and bad trade deals.
Before heading for Quebec today he reiterated the point, taking direct aim at Canada and France:
“‘Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the U.S. massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers,’ Trump wrote on Twitter. ‘The EU trade surplus with the U.S. is $151 Billion, and Canada keeps our farmers and others out. Look forward to seeing them tomorrow.'”
As a statistical matter, the Donald is full of it. Last year the US goods deficit totaled a staggering $796 billion, but only 1.9% of that was accounted for by France ($15 billion ) and just 2.1% by Canada ($17 billion).
And as for France’s “massive tariffs”, we are not exactly convinced that its weighted average tariff of 1.6% on the value of imported goods during 2016 fits the definition.