A day after the latest round of NAFTA negotiations kicked off, U.S. President Donald Trump told a meeting of governors at the White House Monday that when it comes to trade, Canada is smooth.
Trump told his audience the U.S. cannot abide by existing agreements with trading partners like Canada, which he says has been pulling a fast one on its neighbour for decades.
"We lose a lot with Canada. People don't know it. Canada is very smooth," Trump said at the meeting, which aimed to focus on the issue of public safety in schools after the horrific shooting in Parkland, Florida.
"They have you believe that it's wonderful, and it is — for them. Not wonderful for us, it's wonderful for them."
Trump's use of "smooth" got some attention on Twitter, as well as a bunch of Carlos Santana jokes. (If you're not in the loop, one of the musician's most popular songs is called "Smooth.")
Trump has made many combative statements about his country's trade relationship with Canada since he took power, some of which have raised a wave of anxiety over already-tense NAFTA negotiations. The president has complained about Canada's dairy industry and softwood lumber, and has insisted that a trade deficit with Canada exists.
"Canada does not treat us right in terms of the farming and the crossing the borders,'' Trump said earlier this month.
''We cannot continue to be taken advantage of by other countries.''
Trump's claims of a deficit have been contested by both Canada and the office of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. The department said the U.S. actually had a trade surplus of $12.5 billion with Canada in 2016.
And the latest person to contradict Trump's claim of a trade deficit was Trump himself, apparently. The president's signature appears on the introductory foreword of the newly released "Economic Report of the President." The annual document states that the U.S. had a trade surplus with Canada in 2016.
The report was compiled by the Council of Economic Advisers. Trump appointed its members.
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With files from The Canadian Press