Official Canada has been losing it’s collectivist mind over Donald Trump since before he ever won the 2016 presidential election. Some Canadians seem to think we should attack him on every front. Writers like Scott Gilmore at Macleans have called for using the Magnitsky act type provisions to freeze Trump’s assets.
It’s a load of crap and hyperbole.
Anyone that thinks we can win a trade war with the United States is fooling themselves. As Lorne Gunter points out, their economy is growing at 4% while ours was just downgraded to an expected 1.5% growth rate. The Americans have record unemployment, a huge investment in jobs, machinery and infrastructure.
We do not.
There is also the fact that we export about 76% of all of our exports to the US while they export 18% of their goods to us. Notice the imbalance? Dollar wise the trade is similar, as a proportion of the total economy it isn’t even close.
So how should Canada be handling Trump?
Well until recently I actually thought Trudeau and his cabinet were doing a good job in a bad situation. Even Trump supporters need to admit that he is erratic and temperamental.
But then before the G7 things started to go badly. There was the leaking to CNN’s Jim Acosta of a story designed to make Trump look bad. There were the childish antics of presenting Trump with a photo of his grandfather’s first hotel, in Canada, often dubbed a brothel by Trump’s critics. And Chrystia Freeland referred to Trump to Hitler in the New York Times.
Then of course there was Trump’s infamous blow up on Air Force One, threatening more tariffs on Canada. We’ve since learned that Trump was reacting to him granting Trudeau what he wanted in a meeting only to see Trudeau attack Trump in his closing news conference at the G7.
So how should Canada handle Trump?
I know some Canadians want to shut the border, boycott American goods, enter into an all out trade war with the U.S. None of those are realistic of feasible ideas.
My friend and regular guest on my radio show Geoffrey Johnston want to tone things down. Not a bad idea.
In his latest column for the Kingston Whig-Standard, Geoffrey suggests that Canada can inflict significant pain the U.S. economy. Yet on the radio he suggested that we take the negotiations away from Trump and Trudeau and down to the high level bureaucrats.
In a normal presidency, I would agree. With Trump, he has the final say on any issue that grabs his attention and right now, that would be trade with Canada.
My suggestion is use our current greatest asset, Trudeau’s ability to charm Trump should be engaged.
While we disagree on some points, we agree that we need to take the Canada-U.S. relationship seriously. Listen to what an impassioned but respectful debate on politics can sound like.