Canadian Trade Debacle

“It is highly unusual, after more than a year of three-party talks, for Canada not to participate in the new discussions between U.S. and Mexican negotiators,” said Chris Sands, head of the Center for Canadian Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Indeed, recent developments point to a steady souring of relations between Ottawa and the White House. Formal, three-way talks to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement have not been held since May, though had been expected to restart after the Mexican presidential election earlier this month.

A third source briefed on the negotiations said the U.S. side, fuelled in part by Lighthizer’s dislike of Freeland, has decided to not even let Canada back into the process until it makes some kind of substantive concession. national post

If you are not in the room you are not part of the deal. The dimwitted PMO and Trade Pixie Chrystia Freeland seem to think that “standing up to the Americans” is good trade policy as well as political catnip. After all, if Trudeau can be cast as Canada’s champion tilting with big, mean, Trump he should win the next election in a walk. (Or so the Ottawa thinking, I am inclined to think Canadians are not that dumb; but I’ve been wrong before.)

The politics of trade are one thing, the actual effects of “no deal” are quite another. The combination of no trade deal with the US and the anti-business consequences of the national “carbon” tax make investment decisions in Canada very easy: why would any US company or Canadian company for that matter, build a factory in Canada when that same factory could be built in the US or Mexico and enjoy access to the US market?

No one has to love Trump to figure out that Canada is better off with a trade deal with our largest trading partner. If that means abandoning our weird desire to enshrine gender equality in such a deal or, more substantively, accepting a negotiated sunset clause or the gradual elimination of tariff barriers in the dairy industry, we should get on with it.

Unfortunately, the political class in Canada – and our awful media – seem to be holding on to the idea that somehow Trump is not the “real” President and that, even if he is, he’ll be gone soon because he’ll be impeached or convicted criminally. Bouncing around Washington to speak to mainly Democratic Senators and Representatives in the name of a “charm” offensive likely re-enforced the perception that Trump is just a bad nightmare which will be over soon. And, hey, mid-terms!

The happy thought of Trump’s departure is the bedrock of leftist delusions about many things. The reality that Trump is going nowhere and that he seems to be accelerating his agenda apparently does not register in the collective Ottawa political brain. It is too horrible to contemplate. So long as the Liberals and their enablers in the media cling to the vision of the quick demise of Trump’s America (and a restoration of those nice Democrats) they will blunder along gaining no traction at all in trade or on any other file.

4 thoughts on “Canadian Trade Debacle

  1. Neil Wilson says:

    So here we are. Third world status in trade. This because we have a tyro driving the bus. Now we will be lucky if nothing happens on the NAFTA file because the imposition of auto tariffs will cause the loss of 160,000 jobs and bring on a depression in Canada while the US economy is booming. We couldn’t be in a worse position if we were trying to bring about this situation. You know, like we are trying to make Canada energy irrelevant.

    Again, Skippy tried to push social issues into a trade deal with China which got him laughed out of the country, literally, with the name L’il Potato. And he tried the same thing with NAFTA and so demonstrated his true colours to Trump as a weak, virtue signaler. He refused to look at a bilateral deal which would have been best at this stage and now Mexico and the US will probably sign one leaving us in the cold. He couldn’t shuffle fast enough when Trump gave him the sunset clause and proceeded to insult the President by putting on his big-boy pants and reading his prepared tough-guy speaking notes after the President had left the G7 which really pissed off POTUS. And, he won’t put supply management on the table to save the autopact because it will enrage his political base in Quebec – Trump needs supply management gone to placate the Wisconsin farmers who put his Electoral College count over the top which put Trump in the White House.

    Canadians leaders, particularly Liberal ones, have a bad habit of playing tough guy on the world stage so as to gain political points at home. Mr. Chretien in particular did this, lecturing China on human rights but I bet there was a little nudge, nudge wink, wink in private beforehand. Not our skippy. He is so arrogant he thinks he can run with the big dogs who in turn, think he is a child. When we lose big time and more Canadians are laid off because of his actions, then perhaps the Eloi will wake up.

  2. derek says:

    Something to watch is whether the Chinese flow of cash into Canada continues when Canada no longer is a conduit into the US market.

    In a global market Canada is a tourist destination, has natural resources (expensive but plentiful) and close to the US. There natural resources side is getting squeezed, and of the border is strangled, them we are going to see 80’s level economic readjustment.

  3. Cytotoxic says:

    “why would any US company or Canadian company for that matter, build a factory in Canada when that same factory could be built in the US or Mexico and enjoy access to the US market?”

    There are other markets, and other factors to consider. Canada’s laxer immigration is a plus for us, as is not having a mentally fascist in office.

    “Canada is better off with a trade deal with our largest trading partner. ”

    Not necessarily true. If the deal is essentially a customs union then we are better off with no deal. The best trade deal is unilateral free trade. No negotiations needed.

  4. Cytotoxic says:

    Also, where do you get this crap about Trump’s agenda ‘accelerating’? He’s achieved almost dick all in months. The GOP is probably about to lose the House.

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