President Donald Trump defended his decision to increase tariffs on Canada, calling the current NAFTA trade deal “disgraceful.”
“We can no longer be the stupid country,” Trump said. “We want to be the smart country.”
Trump commented on trade policy during his speech at the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) 75th anniversary celebration in Washington, DC, on Tuesday.
“Canada, they like to talk,” Trump said, likely referring to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Trump said that Canada produced energy and timber but that it was time for them to stop taking advantage of the United States on trade.
“We’re treated horribly,” he said, citing Canada’s 275 percent tariff on dairy, which hurt America’s dairy farmers.
Trump also pointed to a news article about Canadians smuggling in American goods.
“The tariffs to get common items back into Canada are so high that they have to smuggle them in,” he said. “They buy shoes, then they wear them. They scuff them up. They make them sound old or look old.”
Trump reminded them of his campaign promise to renegotiate NAFTA or terminate it, noting that he was willing to negotiate trade deals with Canada and Mexico separately.
“Canada is not going to take advantage of the United States any longer, and Mexico is not going to take advantage of the United States any longer,” he said.