Skip to comments.Gormley: Canada outplayed on NAFTA
Posted on 08/31/2018 6:07:58 PM PDT by Candor7
At first glance, it is easy to chalk up the train wreck that is the NAFTA re-negotiations to Prime Minister Justin Trudeaus bad luck. But in politics, theres an old saying that you make your own luck.
And there should be some tough questions asked and accountability demanded on how it all came to this: a last minute take it or leave it ultimatum for Canada to sign a trade deal seemingly reached between Mexico and the United States while Canada watched from the sidelines for five weeks.
Two years ago, when a populist presidential candidate tapped into NAFTA as the root of flagging American competitiveness and lost jobs and he promised to reform it, what did Canada do? Justin Trudeaus Liberal brain trust not only looked down their noses at the reality-TV buffoon Donald Trump but ignored even the possibility that he could be mining a vein of real American angst.
As the Trump presidency settled into the Oval Office, Canada whistled past the graveyard thinking it impossible that a president would actually do what he promised. And, despite a cordial first meeting with the president, Justin Trudeau couldnt resist identity politics and virtue signalling by declaring that any new Canadian trade agreements, like NAFTA, must include chapters on gender, climate change and Indigenous issues. This established that Canada was not going to be taken seriously by the Americans.
As the NAFTA talks began, Canadas lead negotiator insulted the Trump administration with a backhanded comment during a Washington speech on trade. This would not have been done by the redoubtable international trade law experts who have led Canadian trade teams in the past.
But Chrystia Freeland is not an expert in trade. Nor is she a seasoned negotiator. Shes a politician. Though bright and well educated, Freelands life experience was as a journalist before becoming Trudeaus Minister of Foreign Affairs.
From the day he was elected, President Trumps beef was not with Canada it was with Mexico. Except for some minor objections, mainly over Canadian dairy policy, Trump spoke of tweaking the Canadian relationship. And his team said it preferred bi-lateral, or two-way, deals with each of Canada and Mexico.
By the end of this summers G7 meeting, Trump had backed off his insistence on a sunset clause that would set a NAFTA expiry date and had apparently thought the way was being paved for a Canadian deal. This explained the president going ballistic when Trudeau publicly repeated that Canada was insulted by American tariffs.
It should be clear by now for anyone decoding Trump that straight talk and a play to his huge and brittle ego are important. Rather than doing that and sliding quietly into a two-way deal with America by giving them some increased access to our dairy market, Canada allowed its options to run out.
Then Mexico, which had talked a good game along with us on insisting thered be no bilateral agreements, started having a detailed two-way negotiation, as our lead negotiator and her team sat on the sidelines.
As this week played out, Ms. Freeland and the Prime Minister have put on their best brave faces and optimistically talked of getting a deal. But they are looking down the barrel of a last-minute ultimatum to sign a deal already decided by Mexico and the U.S.
The re-worked NAFTA reportedly removes the dispute settlement mechanism so cherished and needed by Canada; it changes drug patent laws and redefines how many cars will be manufactured in the U.S. To top it off, Trumps position is that Canada can only take the deal if we bend on dairy. And, if we dont accept the agreement Trump will decimate our automotive industry with tariffs as early as next week.
This doesnt seem much like a negotiated deal. It looks more like the Trudeau trade team signing terms of surrender.
Stand by, John Gormley, for that middle-of-the-night knock on your door from the OTTAWA thought police squad!
It is a shame Canadians are about to pay the price for this
leftist brow boy.
Oh well, he brought it on himself.
Trump is gracious to extend the deadline.
I would have cut brow boy off at the knees.
I was born In Saskatchewan and I am surprised that newspaper is still around...
If Trudeau don’t watch out Trump will have him standing on one leg while he barks like a dog.
The Western provinces remind me of Montana or Nevada.
They would do well to secede. And join their brethren in the US West.
Don’t call it Canaduh for nuthin’. And yes, we know there are awesome folks up there despite the Justine truDOH regime.
As a Canadian author once wrote: When a people lose the courage to resist encroachment on their rights, then they can’t be saved by an outside force. Our belief is that people always have the kind of government they want and that individuals must bear the risks of freedom, even to the extent of giving their lives.”
This is what the Canadians voted for. If they do not like it, they should vote otherwise next time.
US winning with DJT
See my #8.
He is a virtue signaller of the worst white. Spolied, rich brat.
They voted for him to get dope legalized. Who cares if he doesn’t know how to run the rest of the country......I guess they are now finding out. Elect a bitch, become a bitch. They need us more then we need them.
Canadian auto factories need to relocate to Ohio and Michigan. A 25% tariff on cars made in Canada should encourage such a move quite nicely. Best deal for US is no deal with Canada.
It seems that, as usual, the Left simply cannot sort Trump out.
His ego is not dependent on external factors (he learned that from his dad).
His ego is dependent on his achievement of his own personal goals.
In this regard, Trump is quite rare.
Most people draw their ego support from other people...but not the Trumps.
They are self-contained.
Their egos are based on internal metrics.
This is how Trump built the Grand Central Hyatt...and Trump Tower.
His dad taught to take his own measure and not listen to the naysayers and complainers he would face.
And not in some highfalutin, pompous, or pretentious way...just use your competitors human frailty against them.
Listen to yourself...and not your enemies.
Take your own counsel.
He is defenseless against Trump.
Trump has the measure of this man (man?).
That is what Trump has always done...take the measure of the man across the table.
As an aside, Omarosa was an exception.
Trump's weakness is caring about those NOT in power. He wants to help them along.
Trudeau, however, doesn't need that kind of help.
Trump is going to destroy Trudeau. And Trudeau is gonna help.
Trudeau and his campaign applied the Democrat/Schumer/Pelosi stratgery of “resistance.”
Look what happened. Trudeau and Freeland were taken to the wood shed.
Same is going to happen to Schumer and Pelosi eventually.
I’d say that Trudeau’s nationalist virtue signaling anti Trump pap have put his Spring 2019 re-election chances at just about NIL.Trudeau is a martyr to the left’s cause, and we in Canada cannot wait to see him gone, for good, along with his cabinet of sophomoric , inexperienced retards.
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