Donald Trump has us in his sights. Yesterday, he slapped a 20% tariff on Canadian lumber. Next, he'll take aim at Canadian dairy farmers. Tom Walkom writes:
What he was signalling in his off-script remarks about Canada is that the NAFTA talks between Ottawa, Washington and Mexico City will be very, very tough. Canadian officials presumably knew this already. In a draft letter to Congress leaked late last month, some of Trump’s overarching goals in renegotiating NAFTA were laid out.These included elimination or diminution of Canada’s supply management system in dairy and poultry. They also included opening up Canadian government procurement to U.S. firms while maintaining the U.S. right to buy American.He wants Canada to dismantle any trade barriers, such as supply management, that inconvenience the U.S. Simultaneously, he wants the U.S. to retain the right to erect trade barriers of its own.
Justin Trudeau's approach, so far, has been to make reasoned arguments on Canada's behalf. But, when dealing with Trump, Trudeau should abide by one overarching principle: the size of Trump's ego is inversely proportional to the size of his brain. The more you stroke his ego, the more his brain ceases to function.
This has become a case of personal -- not mutual -- advantage. Canadian trade policy should focus on taking advantage of a dim witted president and government.
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