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The trade deal does not pay for the wall

“The wall will also be paid for indirectly by the great new trade deal we have made with Mexico.” — President Trump

Trump often says the wall will be paid for by the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal, a claim he repeated tonight.

This is a Four-Pinocchio claim. During the campaign, Trump more than 200 times promised Mexico would pay for the wall, which the administration says would cost at least $18 billion. Now he says the minor reworking of the North American Free Trade Agreement will earn enough money for pay for the wall. This betrays a misunderstanding of economics. Countries do not “lose” money on trade deficits, so there is no money to earn; the size of a trade deficit or surplus can be determined by other factors besides trade. Congress must still appropriate the money, and the trade agreement has not been ratified.

Live fact-checking and analysis of President Trump’s immigration speech

President Trump is set to make a case to a national television audience Tuesday night for long-sought border wall funding; the impasse over the wall has led to a partial government shutdown. His remarks are scheduled for 9 p.m. Eastern and are expected to last about eight minutes and be carried live by all major television networks.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) plan to deliver a brief joint response afterward.

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