U.S. President Donald Trump again slammed Canada over a trade dispute and claimed that Canadians are buying common products in the U.S. and having to “smuggle” them back into the country because of high tariffs.
While addressing the National Federation of Business in Washington, Trump told the crowd that Canadians are resorting to smuggling U.S. goods to avoid tariffs.
“People living in Canada are coming to the United States and smuggling things back into Canada because the tariffs are so massive,” Trump said Tuesday. “The tariffs to get common items back into Canada are so high, that they have to smuggle them in.
“They buy shoes and then they wear them. They scuff them up. They make them sound old or look old,” the president said.
Trump has been taking potshots at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canada since the end of the G7 summit earlier this month after the prime minister said at a press conference that he told the U.S. president that his steel and aluminum tariffs were “kind of insulting,” and that Canada “will not be pushed around” and that it would not hesitate to impose retaliatory measures.
“Canada,” Trump told the business conference. “They like to talk, they’re a great neighbour.”
Trump said he hoped the U.S. could work out a trade agreement with Canada, saying the two countries had a good relationship but that Americans were being taken advantage of.
“We have to change our ways. We can no longer be the stupid country. We want to be the smart country” Trump said.
The president also said Canada “treats us horribly.”
“Dairy,” Trump said. “Dairy, 275 per cent tariff. So basically that’s a barrier without saying it’s a barrier.”
Trump has previously said Canada slaps 270 per cent tariffs on dairy.
Trump said Tuesday progress was being made in slow-moving talks to update the NAFTA deal between the United States, Canada and Mexico, but he held out the prospect of striking bilateral pacts if a three-way deal could not be reached.
“We’re trying to equalize it. It’s not easy but we’re getting there,” the president said. “We’ll see whether or not we can make a reasonable NAFTA deal.”
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