Hmmmm, this segment from an article in the Financial Post: Trudeau Stumbled Into A Trade War. That Isn’t All Trump’s Fault
Trudeau wasn’t wrong, of course, but his comments were clearly ill-timed. Russo reported that Trump had offered a major giveaway to Trudeau in a NAFTA meeting on the G7 sidelines, finally agreeing to waive his longstanding demand for a sunset clause, the automatic expiry of the deal if it wasn’t renewed every five years, which had been one of the last sticking points. Russo said that Trump’s sudden concession was “surprising (to) his own chief negotiator, according to people who were there, and people (there) think that it’s great.” At the end of the summit, with a NAFTA deal perhaps within grasp, the celebrating was underway. Then came the news conference.
It’s obvious to everyone, and probably even to Trump himself, that the president overreacted, calling Trudeau “very dishonest” and “weak,” in his fit of pique. But it’s also not hard to see why he might have felt antagonized. As Don Lenihan, formerly of the progressive think-tank Canada 2020, noted in a commentary this week, “In Trump’s mind, the decision to waive the sunset clause had been a generous act of reconciliation. Yet Trudeau publicly denigrated him just to score political points with Canadians.”
Trudeau, who has since refused to confirm or deny Trump’s offer about the sunset clause, might not have meant it that way (Lenihan suggests he was actually trying to play it safe, sticking to his previous script, since the deal over the sunset clause hadn’t yet been made public). But the president was also hours away from meeting America’s arguably most dangerous enemy, Kim Jong Un. That kind of pressure is hard to imagine; the resulting over-sensitivity to even a mild display of back talk — just after he left a successful meeting in which he apparently offered a significant, friendly gesture — is, however, perfectly easy to imagine.
And after Kim and Trump’s cordial summit, Canada might just rank as the country least able to get along with the U.S. right now. That can’t just be Trump’s fault. From throwing a stink bomb into NAFTA talks with their “progressive” demands, to bringing in protectionist union leader Jerry Dias to consult on the negotiations, to their defiant defence of the unjustified tariff wall protecting Canada’s dairy barons, the Liberals have not done an excellent job of figuring out how to make a deal with a man who literally loves nothing more than making deals. After nearly a year of discussions, things seem at an all-time low. That cannot be blamed all on one man.
Meanwhile, our own overreaction to some ill-considered comments from that one man is growing dangerous for the future of free trade. The last few days have been paradise for protectionists, with protected-milk parties on Sparks Street, unanimous declarations in the House of Commons praising our mighty agriculture cartels, and Tory leader Andrew Scheer demoting MP Maxime Bernier for refusing to publicly submit to the party’s proudly anti-market beliefs about groceries. The steelworker union is today demanding big, fat tariffs against U.S. imports, and also big, fat handouts from taxpayers to help them survive their battle against consumers. And Dias, head of the labour union Unifor, says we need more tariffs, faster: “I think we have to fight fire with fire … strike back… hit hard,” he said this week. “I believe it’s the only real way to get this guy’s attention.” – Financial Post
read full article here
If its true that Trump made a large concession in the NAFTA negotiations and then Trudeau opened his big fat mouth….well that is important. Trudeau will neither confirm or deny that the concession was made. This, of course, means that the sunset clause requirement most certainly was waived by Trump. A NAFTA deal was within reach.
One might understand why Trump got angry with Trudeau’s comments during the post G7 news conference.
Funny how the US can go around the world overthrowing dozens of elected governments, bombing hospitals, killing hundreds of thousands of men, women and children in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and God only knows where else and Canadians stay silent. Call Trudeau a liar, which he is by the way, and THEN, ONLY THEN, Canadians talk about boycotting US products and vacation destinations? Seriously?