Peter Donolo has an interesting column in this morning's Globe and Mail. Donolo believes that the NAFTA negotiations are not about trade. They're about politics. The giveaway is that the Americans still haven't old us what they want. He writes:
What does that mean for the NAFTA talks? Don't hold your breath for negotiators to come up with trade solutions to a political problem. And if they do manage an agreement, count the seconds for a tweet from the President of the United States undercutting his own negotiating team. He's done it to his own White House staff, to his cabinet and to his party, time and again.The term "win-win," which is the essence of any successful negotiation, does not exist in Donald Trump's lexicon. His approach is better described as zero-sum; the only way you can show you have won is by crushing your opponent into dust.
The American decision to add a 220% tariff to Bombardier's C-Series jets should be understood in that context. The decision is not good news for Canada. And, meanwhile, Trump treats Mexico with utter contempt. That does not bode well for the future:
In less than a year, Mexico will hold presidential elections. Mr. Trump's relentless humiliation of that country has already sunk the hopes of the incumbent PRI and boosted the chances of leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador. What would be the consequences of a NAFTA "loss" for Mexico? From the relative stability of recent decades, the Mexico-U.S. relationship could very quickly revert to earlier hostile, and even violent, patterns.
So fasten your seat belts. North America -- and, for that matter, the world -- is in for a lot more turbulence.