“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.