Jan 25, 2018

Trump fudges NAFTA trade facts

President Trump in Davos. Photo: Nicholas Kamm / AFP via Getty Images.

President Trump, while dodging an interviewer's questions Thursday on whether he's going to pull out of the North American Trade Agreement, misstated some of the numbers when trying to explain how terrible the deal is.

Why it matters: Trump's seesawing on NAFTA has been controversial, as both the legal and economic consequences of pulling out are extremely unclear. Meanwhile, his "trade deficit" facts don't fully line up with his own trade office.

  • What Trump said to CNBC: "We have a trade deficit with Mexico... $ 71 billion dollars a year, right? We have a trade deficit with Canada of a substantial amount of money — I have a number but they keep arguing it ... so I won’t say it, I won’t tell you it’s $17 million [sic] okay? ... We gotta do something. We can’t continue to do this."
  • Fact check: The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative says the U.S. goods and services trade deficit with Mexico was $55.6 billion in 2016 (the most recent year listed); and the trade of U.S. goods and services with Canada was actually a trade surplus of $12.5 billion.

Notable: Trump could have been referring solely to the trade of goods with both countries and excluding services, which are typically included when discussing trade balances. But, even then, the available numbers don't entirely match up (although they could once December data is released):

Timing: Trump's NAFTA comments came shortly after he told CNBC that he would consider renegotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership if the U.S. got a better deal.

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Editors note: We've updated the story to reflect that the U.S. goods trade deficit figures listed under "Notable" are only through November of 2017. The original story said "in 2017," and the December data could bring the figures closer to Trump's estimates.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll nears 11,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 10,900 in the U.S. early Tuesday, per Johns Hopkins data. More than 1,000 people in the U.S. have died of coronavirus-related conditions each day since April 1.

Why it matters: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday this week will be "the hardest and saddest week of most Americans' lives" — calling it our "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 17 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 1,347,803 — Total deaths: 74,807 — Total recoveries: 277,402Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 368,196 — Total deaths: 10,986 — Total recoveries: 19,828Map.
  3. Trump administration latest: President Trump's economic adviser Peter Navarro warned White House colleagues in late January the coronavirus could take over half a million American lives and cost close to $6 trillion, memos obtained by Axios show.
  4. 2020 update: Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks governor's attempt to delay in-person primary voting delayed until June.
  5. States latest: West Coast states send ventilators to New York and other states with more immediate need — Data suggest coronavirus curve may be flattening in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
  6. World update: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to intensive care as coronavirus symptoms worsen.
  7. Stocks latest: The S&P 500 closed up 7% on Monday, while the Dow rose more than 1,500 points.
  8. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Docs: Navarro memos warning mass death circulated West Wing in January

Image from a memo to President Trump

In late January, President Trump's economic adviser Peter Navarro warned his White House colleagues the novel coronavirus could take more than half a million American lives and cost close to $6 trillion, according to memos obtained by Axios.

  • By late February, Navarro was even more alarmed, and he warned his colleagues, in another memo, that up to two million Americans could die of the virus.

Driving the news: Navarro's grim estimates are set out in two memos — one dated Jan. 29 and addressed to the National Security Council, the other dated Feb. 23 and addressed to the president. The NSC circulated both memos around the White House and multiple agencies.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health