White House director of legislative affairs Marc Short battled with CNN anchor John Berman Monday about the Trump administration’s trade policy.
Short noted that the United States wants a “level playing-field” when it comes to trade with Canada, to which Berman responded, “but the field with Canada is pretty level.”
“I mean, there was a trade surplus — a U.S. trade surplus with Canada, correct?” Berman asked.
Short explained that the administration is focused on the amount of goods — not services — going in and out of the country, which puts the U.S. at a deficit with Canada.
“Right, I’ve heard y’all have the announcement of goods and services and showing what that surplus is and I think the president is focused on goods,” Short argued. “When you’re talking about goods and products, agricultural products, manufacturing products, there is a significant deficit.”
The WH aide added that a “service” could simply be a Canadian paying a lawyer in the United States, whereas goods involves the actual shipping of products across national lines.
“I use goods and services because that’s what the trade representatives office uses,” Berman shot back.
“That’s right, John, but I think the president has made clear that he wants to focus on the goods side of that equation,” Short replied.