Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today wraps up a three-day trip to the U.S. meant to drum up support on trade issues — the NAFTA negotiations in particular.
But he also may find himself countering misinformation about the U.S.-Canada trade relationship being spread by the Trump administration’s own chief NAFTA negotiator.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has been including goods that pass through Canada but don’t originate here as Canadian exports in his export calculations, artificially inflating the United States’ trade deficit in goods with Canada.
That explains why the trade deficit figure cited last week by Lighthizer is so out of line with reality, Canadian government sources say.
Basically, the USTR is counting the same goods twice. For example, a Chinese washing machine that passes through the port of Vancouver on its way to the United States is being counted in both the U.S. trade deficit with China and in the U.S. goods deficit with Canada.
And while Lighthizer is counting that washing machine as part of Canada’s …