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Fact check: Trump's claims about trade between the US and Canada

On June 11, 2018, U.S. President Donald J. Trump wrote a tweet that has been liked by more than 81,000 and retweeted by almost 22,000 Twitter users. Trump was criticizing the current trade agreement between Canada and the United States, and he included two claims. Help WikiTribune fact check these:

Donald J. Trump on Twitter

Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal. According to a Canada release, they make almost 100 Billion Dollars in Trade with U.S. (guess they were bragging and got caught!). Minimum is 17B. Tax Dairy from us at 270%. Then Justin acts hurt when called out!

Claim 1:  “According to a Canada release, they make almost 100 Billion Dollars in Trade with U.S. Minimum is 17B”

Claim 2:  “[Canada] Tax Dairy from us at 270%”

Fact check: Broadly accurate. The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) told WikiTribune (see full statement below) that: “The President Trump’s Twitter reference on Friday, June 8, [which contained the identical 270 percent claim] correctly ballparks the mid-range of Canadian tariffs on the major dairy product categories.”

USDEC provided several examples of key dairy product categories and their typical maximum tariff levels. They ranged from fluid milk at 241 percent to butterfat/oil at 313.5 percent (over quota tariff). The full Canadian schedule is online here.


Sources & References

Statement emailed to WikiTribune from Shawna Morris, trade policy vice president, U.S. Dairy Export Council:

The President Trump’s Twitter reference on Friday, June 8, correctly ballparks the mid-range of Canadian tariffs on the major dairy product categories. Below are several examples of key dairy product categories & their typical maximum tariff levels. Here is a link to the full Canadian schedule online 

  • Fluid milk: 241%
  • Cheese: 245.5% over quota-tariff
  • Food preparations (i.e. various ingredients) containing dairy: 250.5 – 274.5% over-quota (specific level depends on the tariff code in question)
  • Ice cream: 277% over quota-tariff
  • Cream of over 6% fat content: 292.5% over-quota tariff
  • Milk and cream powders: 201.5% – 295.5% over-quota tariff
  • Butter: 298.5% over quota tariff
  • Butterfat/oil: 313.5% over quota tariff
  • Milk protein products and blended dairy powders: 270% over quota tariff

Note: The over-quota tariff is applied on products exceeding the quota quantity. It limits how much dairy can be exported to Canada by setting a tight amount in the quota for a low/no duty and applying exorbitant tariffs on anything beyond that small amount.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/china-trade-deficit-fact-check-trump-claim-g7-summit/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/06/11/what-u-s-trade-with-canada-actually-looks-like/?utm_term=.cce3ce38e905

Foreign Trade – U.S. Trade with Canada

NOTE: All figures are in millions of U.S. dollars on a nominal basis, not seasonally adjusted unless otherwise specified. Details may not equal totals due to rounding. Table reflects only those months for which there was trade.

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