50 thoughts on “Deep State Speaks…from Within the White House

  1. pgl

    “U.S.-Canada Trade Facts: U.S. goods and services trade with Canada totaled an estimated $673.9 billion in 2017. Exports were $341.2 billion; imports were $332.8 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade surplus with Canada was $8.4 billion in 2017.”

    Menzie – you are being so unfair to Trump by injecting facts!

  2. joseph

    Further fun facts from Trump’s trade representative:

    U.S. exports of agricultural products to Canada — $24 billion
    U.S. imports of agricultural products from Canada — $22 billion

    U.S. is so unfair, unfair to Canadian farmers. This according to Trump’s own trade representative.

    Trump is truly the stupidest president in history.

    1. pgl

      U.S. exports of dairy and egg products: $368 million
      U.S. imports of the same: $125 million.

      So unfair to Canada. We are robbing their piggy banks!

    1. ilsm

      Dennis Rodman was interviewed in Singapore he was very emotional about the progress the US made talking with DPRNK. I heard it on radio so I do not know if he was wearing his wedding dress……….

      All kidding aside, I think Trump going along with [Russia and China] cutting provocative exercises is a solid ante for a future round.

    2. pgl

      And Jared and Ivanka will own them. How do you think these two unpaid interns raked in over $80 million last year. Drain the swamp and then fill back in with his own people.

  3. PeakTrader

    It looks like “facts” are reported differently between countries:

    “The USTR says U.S. statistics count goods coming into the U.S. customs territory from third countries and being exported to U.S. trading partners, without substantial transformation, as exports from the United States. Canada and Mexico, however, count these re-exported goods as imports from the actual country of origin.

    So, the U.S. data report a $17.5 billion goods deficit with Canada in 2017, and a $71.1 billion goods deficit with Mexico. Both countries, however, reported substantially larger U.S. goods surpluses in the same relationship. In 2017, Canada reported a $97.7 billion surplus, and Mexico a $132.4 billion surplus, according to the USTR.

    That could account for the differences in trade numbers referenced in the president’s tweets Monday.“


    1. pgl

      Gee Peaky – liberal economist Dean Baker is all over this one. So is Brad Setser. Of course Setser realizes that Trump’s attention to bilateral trade positions is junk science. Don’t you get it? Didn’t think so!

      1. pgl

        Did I mention Brad Setser? It seems he gets the last word on this US/Canada trade balance issue:


        By last word of course I mean he does a thorough job of covering the data and debunking the intellectual garbage from Team Trump’s trolls.

        Alas something tells me that Wilbur Ross will order them to spread more disinformation.

    2. King John's return


      If you read further: “In the same way, Canadian and Mexican export data may include re-export data may include re-exported products originating in other countries as part of their exports to the United States, whereas U.S. data count these products as imports from the country of origin. These counting methods make each country’s bilateral balance data consistent with its overall balance, but yield large discrepancies in national measures of bilateral balance. It is likely that a measure of the U.S. trade deficit with Canada and Mexico excluding re-exports in all accounts would be somewhere in between the values calculated by the United States and by our country trading partners.”

  4. Moses Herzog

    The VSG is obsessed with world leaders talking while he is on Air Force One. Does he think all the world comes to a stand still because his amazingly dumb personage got on an airplane?? Did Trump watch too many episodes of “Bewitched” growing up?? Did Trump watch Adam Sandler’s “Click” and now thinks when he uses the remote on Air Force One he can get leaders speaking the truth about what a dumba$$ he is to freeze in time??

    Did the amazingly DUMB VSG run to Kellyanne Conway and sob “Mommy!!!! Mommy!!! Mommy, I was on an airplane and the kids at school made fun of me while I was on the airplane!!!! Waaaahaaaahaaa!!!!! The kids at school made fun of my girth and small handsies while I was on an airplane!!!! Waaaahaahaaaa!!!”

    NO, Donald Loser Trump, people don’t stop existing or talking because they are not in your immediate presence—you DUMBA$$ and humiliating embarrassment to your dead mother. People are still allowed to talk while you are on an airplane, you dumb c*nt.

  5. Moses Herzog

    “Deep State Speaks….. From Within the White House” —A David Letterman like quip

    “When, oh, when, will we be rid of these conniving back-stabbers?”—A Brad DeLong style quip

    And some people say “Asian Americans aren’t exactly hard-wired into American pop culture”?? Damn them to hell man, damn them to hell I say.

  6. joseph

    PeakTrader: “That could account for the differences in trade numbers referenced in the president’s tweets Monday.”

    Wait, so what you are saying is that Trump has greater faith in the numbers that Canada compiles than the numbers that Trump’s own trade representative compiles?

    You (and Trump) are idiots.

    1. PeakTrader

      Joseph, you’re the idiot. U.S. goods exports to Canada are overstated and the U.S. goods trade deficit with Canada is larger than reported.

        1. PeakTrader

          Menzie Chinn, I’ve also explained why foreign statistics on life expectancy compared to the U.S. are also distorted.

          1. Menzie Chinn Post author

            PeakTrader: I don’t see how that’s relevant. These are U.S. compiled statistics, under the aegis of BEA and Census (parts of the Department of Commerce), as reported by an Executive Office of the President agency, the United States Trade Representative. Why prefer Canadian statistics to those?

        2. PeakTrader

          The way it’s counted, the U.S. goods trade deficit with Canada has to be at least what’s reported by the U.S., and possibly much higher.

          1. pgl

            I get it! You want to make up misleading statistics in the hope that Wilbur Ross will rehire you. Good luck with that!

      1. CoRev

        Joseph, et al, it has been hilarious watching the left’s reactions. Trump so lives in your head, your reactions to his every action is a disaster or war about to happen. Even more fascinating is the Trump reality to which you are responding or even funnier ignoring. He has you folks completely flummoxed.

        The only meltdown is yours, because he has accomplished so much compared to other Presidents, you are left with nits to pick. He promised! He produced! He has made many things better as he suggested!

        More importantly he has shown how bad was the previous administration, which implemented most of your best ideas. I hope you got that linkage, but I doubt it.

    1. pgl

      Setser is the best. This is why Wilbur Ross has ordered PeakIgnorance to never read Setser’s excellent presentation of the data.

  7. Ed Hanson

    For those whose agenda is not anti-Trump all the time and would like a clearer picture, you first must know what Menzie neglected to report. The above transcript is a truncated section from President Trump’s complete answer at a new conference. President Trumps’s complete answer makes it clear that he speaking of the goods balance and he clearly understands the difference between the Canadian reported statistics and that of the US.


    And btw the above link is just to part of the complete news conference. I have called Menzie on his lack of context before. He obviously is not going to change. My advise, remember always that this is a technique used often by Menzie and to always filter his post through this knowledge.


    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Ed Hanson: Gee, I listened, and I didn’t hear him say anything about “goods” trade balance. That you think this is defensible indicates either that you are either (1) just a mouthpiece for disinformation, or (2) a Marxist economist. Let me explain further — a long time ago, central command economies did not tabulate services because only goods production represented real output. This was the natural outcome of assimilating the labor theory of value. I can excuse Marx who wrote in the 19th century. I have a different adjective describing your defense of Mr. Trump’s view, in the 21st century.

      So, go back to North Korea (or whatever central command economy) where you belong.

      1. 2slugbaits

        … a long time ago, central command economies did not tabulate services because only goods production represented real output

        Yep. I’ve made that same point many times. Folks like PeakTrader and Ed Hanson and CoRev really don’t comprehend that deep down they’re Marxist economists. They might disagree with Marx’s solution, but they agree with his understanding of how value is created. That’s also at the root of their misunderstanding about why they think trade balances are simply the aggregate of micro trades and unrelated to exchange rates and savings/investment identities. I once knew an econ professor who liked to rattle his Young Republican students by pointing out that Reagan was a closet Marxist because he only saw goods produced in the private sector as the source of value with government services being a parasite subtracting from value.

        1. pgl

          Ed has already been hired by North Korea apparently. He should get his cohorts a job with the same regime as they have outlived their usefulness to Wilbur Ross!

      2. Ed Hanson


        Don’t act stupid. It is quite clear, except for your agenda, when he accurately quotes statistics when talking about trade, it is trade in goods he is speaking of. You do not need to hear the word goods.

        For some reason Menzie, you think I am defending President Trump trade policy in total. I do not. However I am defending it from the distortions you intentionally create.

        The appeal to Communism won’t work on me as it has not, as your ploy, on others. Never thought I would say to a College Professor of many years. Grow up Menzie.

        By the way, you have every right to explain how many of the world trade policies are Mercantilism. It is unfortunate in your anti Trump zeal you do not explain how China, Germany, France and Japan have policy of Mercantilism. If you expanded your explanation outside your agenda, you would have a greater impact.


        1. rtd

          To further Ed’s comments, I’m wondering if you know of an accessible resource to compare tariffs across countries. I would imagine that could be a rather large task but curious if you know of a resource. I’m not in favor of tariffs, but I can see a rational for tit-for-tat. I’m certainly not saying Trump’s approach is optimal but I’m not convinced (given the current tariffs from other nations) that it is as “bad” as some are reporting in the long run IF it ends/lowers all tariffs. Maybe try a post on that? That would be interesting.

      3. Ed Hanson


        I will try to post again an answer, don’t know if I posted wrong or you censored it, but don’t care, the opportunity will come up again for my other comments.

        When President Trump accurately gives facts on trade, both the US and Canadian versions, you know he is speaking of trade in goods. You do not have to hear the word goods. You, Menzie are not stupid, you know this.

        No, speaking of trade balance in goods does not mean acceptance of labor theory of value.


        1. 2slugbaits

          No, speaking of trade balance in goods does not mean acceptance of labor theory of value.

          Well, actually it does.

          And why would Trump always refer to the “goods trade deficit” whenever he says “trade deficit”? You might be right that we should always understand Trump to be referring to the goods side only; but that just makes Trump even dumber than we imagined. Why would anyone who understood anything about trade balances only want to talk about the goods side of trade?

        2. rtd

          Yes!!! @Ed Hanson so many great points.

          Menzie is routinely assuming one’s stance/opinion because of either he is unable to control his emotions and/or his reading comprehension is severely lacking. I think “defending it from the distortions you intentionally create” is spot-on and few other bloggers are so notorious for such acts.

          “If you expanded your explanation outside your agenda, you would have a greater impact.” is so true. Menzie is obviously talented but I think he uses his talents subjectively.

          Also, I’ve also experienced numerous instances where my posts don’t go through initially.

          Menzie is the reason why his posts become the dumpster fires that they are and his similarities to POTUS are a reason. It’s particularly interesting given Menzie’s “anti Trump zeal” that you mention.

    2. pgl

      Menzie reported all information relevant to this issue. But nice try. Now back to your day job of spreading disinformation.

    3. pgl

      Gee Ed – the title of this link says it all!

      ‘Donald Trump’s rambling explanation of what happened at the G7 with Justin Trudeau’

      I listened to that earlier and I was dumbfounded at how stooopid Trump sounded. Like we know he is a complete doofus but DAMN!

    4. pgl

      I just had to listen again. The man serially lied. We do not have a $100 billion trade deficit with Canada as he claimed. He also claimed that Canadians do not buy our farm products. http://www.census.gov has the data as I have noted many times and we export a lot of farm products to Canada. And Trump’s quotes on alleged tariffs are misleading as I noted in another post. Yes there are quotas with penalties for going beyond those quotas but to say they charge a 270% tariff on all of our dairy exports is a bald faced lie.

      Thanks Ed for the reminder that Trump lies about EVERYTHING!

  8. spencer

    Peak Trader, before you make too many claims about US-Canadian trade you should know a little of the history.

    In theory, US-Canadian trade data should be one of the best economic data series available anywhere. The US and Canada have some of the best economic data collectors in the world and the trade data is almost a 100% sample. But in the 1980s they were both reporting that they were running a bilateral trade deficit with the other. A special commission was organized and they recommended that each country use the other country’s import data as its export data. This agreement was implemented in 1990. Canada now US US import data for its exports and the US does the converse.


    Their were several reasons that the data was inaccurate. One, they each found that their import data was more accurate than the export data. They both had greater incentives to make the import data more accurate — like collecting duties on imports. A second factor was transshipments. For example, when Canadian exports to Japan go through the port of Seattle. Such goods would be counted in US imports from Canada but the reexports are often not deducted from the import data.

    But the biggest issue was transfer pricing. US -Canadian trade is dominated by intra-company shipments. The bulk of Canadian exports to the US are from an international subsidiary sending its exports to the same multinational in the US. It is much higher than any other country. Firms try to minimize the value of exports and maximize the value of imports so that is looks like they made very little profits on each side of the transaction and so reduce their tax bill.. Although the new systems helps, transfer pricing is still a problem.

    So even though in theory, US-Canadian trade data should be among the most accurate data series available worldwide, in reality there are still serious questions about the quality of the data.

  9. joseph

    PeakTrader, what do you make of the fact that Trump’s own trade representative reports that the U.S. exports more agricultural goods to Canada than Canada exports to the U.S. Is the U.S. being unfair to Canadian farmers?

    And this has nothing to do with third-party transfers. We’re talking direct shipments of meat and fruit and vegetables and dairy products between the U.S and Canada.

    So unfair, so unfair to Canadian farmers.

  10. joseph

    Even this insistence that only goods matter is ridiculous. The goods deficit with Canada is $17 billion — but $54 billion of that imbalance is oil. In other words, for every other good except oil, the U.S. has a $37 billion dollar surplus in goods exported to Canada.

    That goods surplus is “so unfair, so unfair” to Canadian factory workers.

    Trump is an idiot. But what is Navarro’s excuse — he knows better but is just a flat out liar.

    1. pgl

      Navarro works for Trump. What would you have him do? Honesty gets one fired by this White House.

    2. PeakTrader

      Joseph, it’s been shown, U.S. exports to Canada may be overstated by a large amount.

      You seem to believe trade barriers are justified, because of comparative trading advantages.

    3. joseph

      Navarro is a long time obsessive Sinophobe. In fact, his books that got him hired by Trump are “Death by China”, “Crouching Tiger” and “The Coming China Wars”.

      My guess is that he will say anything, sacrifice his academic reputation, debase himself before Trump, fluff Trump and lie for Trump as long as it gets him a seat at the table regarding China policy. It’s a strategic calculation for him.

  11. joseph

    Ed Hanson: “When President Trump accurately gives facts on trade, both the US and Canadian versions, you know he is speaking of trade in goods.”

    But, Ed, even if you accept Trumps belief that only goods matter, if you exclude oil, the U.S. runs a $37 billion surplus in export of goods. As Trump would say “Very unfair, very very unfair” to Canadian factory workers.

    Or would you argue that because the U.S. is a glutton for oil, that the U.S. should put Canadian factory workers out of a job to even the score.

    1. Ed Hanson


      Why exclude any ‘goods’ just to make the numbers different. Makes no sense. The fact is Canada says they have about a 100,000,000,000 surplus in goods with the US. The US says about 17,000,000,000. When two nations are negotiating, both numbers are important so that the language and meaning are the same. There is no confusion, not with the stated numbers, not with the negotiators, not with President Trump. Only confusion is the attempt of the loud left to create it.

      One last item. Menzie writes that services trade numbers are important. They are. But what he knows but does not want to divulge is those numbers are neither solid nor timely. In general terms, it takes three years before the numbers begin to solidify. Current numbers are mostly worthless in determining trade balances. Goods trade on the other hand are reasonably accurate and solid due to the fact of large government knowledge created by the customs service.


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