A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

FactChecking Trump on Trade

President Donald Trump distorted some facts about trade in a press conference announcing an agreement to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement with the United States, Mexico, Canada Agreement, or USMCA.

Trump Wrong on Mexico’s VAT

President Donald Trump wrongly said that “nobody from this country knew” about Mexico’s value-added tax until after NAFTA was signed. A deputy U.S. trade representative at the time NAFTA was put in place said: “US policymakers, embassy officials and tax authorities were fully aware of Mexico’s VAT system.”

Facts on Trade

Here we highlight a number of key statistics about trade, and summarize some of the stories we have written when these facts have been misrepresented.

U.S. Trade with Canada Not ‘Smaller’ Than With Mexico

In announcing a tentative agreement with Mexico, President Donald Trump called Mexico “a very large trading partner” and said negotiations would now begin with Canada, which he called a “smaller segment.” But U.S. trade with Canada was about $57 billion larger than trade with Mexico in 2017.

Video: Trump’s False Trade Claims

In this week’s fact-checking video, CNN’s Jake Tapper looks at two of President Donald Trump’s recent claims about trade.

Trump’s Specious Trade Tweets

In recent tweets, President Donald Trump has made erroneous statements about U.S farmers, and soybean prices in particular, while complaining about trade barriers.

Trump Distorts Facts on Agricultural Trade

In a Fox Business interview, President Donald Trump singled out trade barriers as a reason for five “very bad years” for U.S. farmers. But agricultural economists blame low farm commodity prices — not trade barriers.

Video: U.S.-Canada Trade

In this week’s video, CNN’s Jake Tapper reviews President Donald Trump’s claim that the U.S. trade deficit with Canada is “close to $100 billion a year.” It’s not.

Trump Garbles Canadian Trade Stats

The official U.S. statistics on trade with Canada show that the United States has a trade surplus with our neighbor to the north. The U.S. surplus was $2.8 billion in 2017, according to the Census Bureau. Yet, President Donald Trump has claimed that the U.S. has “close to $100 billion a year loss with Canada” or $17 billion “minimum.”