Lately, things have not being going well for Justin Trudeau. He's still trying to recover from his gaffe filled trip to India. But, thanks to Donald Trump, he has the opportunity to burnish his bona fides. Lawrence Martin writes:
The U.S. President has upped his reputation for running a gong show with his admission that he had no idea what he was talking about when telling the Prime Minister the United States runs a trade deficit with Canada.
He just made it up, the President admits on an audio feed from a private fundraiser on Wednesday. Didn’t know what he was talking about.
The confession, a rather unique one in the annals of relations between presidents and prime ministers, is a big boost for Ottawa negotiators in the trade debate, undercutting the credibility of the American posture. The Canadian side has been making the point about the U.S. having a surplus repeatedly over the last year. Washington has twisted statistics and data to claim otherwise.
Canadians have long suspected that Justin doesn't have his father's backbone. But Donald Trump is the perfect foil. And Trump's economic advisor can also give Justin a boost:
In fact, Mr. Trudeau has the upper hand and it is getting stronger. Larry Kudlow, the President’s newly appointed director of the National Economic Council, says it makes no sense to go after Canada. While alleging that Mr. Trudeau is “a left-wing crazy guy,” Mr. Kudlow added that exiting NAFTA “would be a calamitously bad decision.”
Mr. Trudeau has been right it to make it clear to the President there won’t be any capitulating on trade negotiations in order to avoid tariffs. If a trade war breaks out, Canadians are likely to support their PM. Standing up to presidents when there are grounds to do so has worked in the past. It will likely work with this drama king.
Of course, Justin could step in it. But make no mistake. He knows Donald Trump can serve his interests.
Image: MTL Blog