Trump targets Canada, can Trudeau handle this?

These are the sorts of things that are supposed to be ironed out in the special relationship between Canada and the United States, the kind of thing that you hope  prime minister can call the president up on and fix problems over a phone call. Not this time.

Canada will be part of the promised tariffs on steel and aluminum that President Donald Trump threatened the world with last week. If it comes down as promised later this week it will be a 25% tariff on steel and 10% on aluminum. Justin Trudeau repeating that this is “unacceptable” over and over again has not worked.

Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper on Sunday morning, Trump’s trade advisor Peter Navarro said there will perhaps be certain exemptions on a case by case basis for business, but no country exclusions.

If you thought Canada could get wiggle room, think again. Navarro was clear as CNN tweeted out.

So this is how Canada finds out, by watching TV. To me that says the relationship is not where it should be. Hate Donald Trump if you will but he campaigned on doing the sort of thing he is about to do. We had to see this coming and Trump is one man.

Our officials have been saying since this came out on Thursday that they don’t know if Canada will be included. Was there no one in Trudeau’s administration that could have spoken to someone in the Trump administration to get an answer?

Apparently not, which left Trudeau and his trade minister jumping up and down in front of TV cameras saying any such tariffs would be “unacceptable.”

To Canada these measures are unacceptable but that won’t stop Trump from enacting them. The moves may even hurt the US economy but he will have kept his word to voters in Ohio, Pennsylvania and elsewhere that he would stand up for them. And rightly or wrongly, many of them will back this as the president standing up for his workers.

What will our prime minister do for Canadian workers? Change into a new outfit? Show up for a photo op in a hard hat, jeans and a plaid flannel shirt?

It appears to be the only thing Trudeau knows how to do, so I wouldn’t put it past him.


  • Australian columnist Rita Panahi, mincing words, called Trudeau the “Kim Kardashian” of political leaders, an all-style, no-substance bimbo with all the depth of a puddle.”

    Junior is not working at this. Find out who controls the puppet strings and ask them why no one in the Canadian government has the economic skills to run Canada as a country or as a business.

  • Trump was elected to help the US. In this day and age we forget that countries elect their own leaders not people to take care of the rest of the world. Look at US jobs and economic numbers, he’s doing a pretty good job there. Maybe JT should shut up and pay attention to what Trump is doing and use it as a primer for fixing Canada.

  • Finding a steel mill outfit for Jr sounds like an extra special job for the PMO costume dept. No worries he’ll find a tax to cover it.

  • Do you suppose Justin really cares? It would take a lot of effort without fun, fun, fun..for him to stand up for Canada

  • The Trudeau Liberals are a very smart bunch to take a hard left on gender policy & First Nations policy for investment. Trudeau has distinguished himself from the anti-social right-wing policies of mean spirited corporatist investing Reform-in-pantyhose-party that only feathers their own nests and destroys the middle class. The Trudeau government has done well to define socially appropriate leadership in governance going forward. Their social policy differentiates contemporary Liberal policy from the regressiveness of corporate tax breaks that never trickle down, and the mindlessness of so-called free market capitalism” that the right-of-political spectrum so-called Conservatives” promulgate ad nauseum for a loss of credibility each electoral round. Trudeau and the Liberals are my favorite Marxists of late, and they have my support. Morneau has launched a socially responsible budget whereas the Conservative Party would have opted for the rhetoric of tax breaks to appease their crony corporatists and garner the corporatist political donations that have destroyed politics everywhere. Trudeau in India is much ado about nothing and it”s an infinitesimally small faux pas that all the journalists are screaming bloody murder about. Trudeau has not lost confidence whatsoever, and only the anti-Marxists are up in arms about his leadership ability and carefully crafted persona. RW