rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Donald Trump's claims about the Canadian trade bargaining team have, for once, a ring of truth!

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca for as little as $5 per month!

Yes, Donald Trump is a liar and a braggart, but the American President's boast yesterday morning that cowed Canadian trade negotiators have all but folded and any new trade deal they sign will be totally on U.S. terms has a ring of truth.

Given his track record, it's certainly not impossible to conclude Trump was just engaging in his usual pathological hyperbole about how smart he is and how superior his tactics are to those of everyone else.

Still, how hard is it to believe he spoke the unvarnished truth when he bragged to Bloomberg News that every time Canada's trade negotiators resist U.S. demands, the Americans threaten the Canadian auto industry, and it works?

Or, as Trump put it, as if he were personally always in the room and the centre of the action, "every time we have a problem with a point, I just put up a picture of a Chevrolet Impala."

"They came knocking on our doors last night," Trump said of the Canadian bargaining team in his now-infamous off-the-record interview with Bloomberg, which was mysteriously leaked to the Toronto Star. "'Let's make a deal. Please."

So, seriously, how hard is it to believe that the Trudeau Government bargaining team -- deeply committed to maintaining neoliberal trade globalization -- would be prepared to give away the store for the privilege of remaining in a rebranded North American Free Trade Agreement?

Not very.

After all, we Canadians have completely reorganized our economy to support the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement cooked up in the days of Ronald Reagan and Brian Mulroney, and the NAFTA that followed when Mexico signed on. So of course the Canadian bargaining team is sweating bullets.

But Trump's scenario becomes especially believable when your realize a big part of the store Canada is being asked to give away -- supply management of eggs, poultry and especially dairy products -- is one our own leaders mostly oppose on ideological grounds and would dearly love the opportunity to skid.

The trouble from the perspective of the Canadian neoliberals who drive our country's trade policies no matter which party happens to be in power is that a powerful industry and certain Canadian governments -- the one in Quebec in particular -- don't see things quite the same way.

So nothing would suit them better than to be able to do what they want, and then blame it all on Donald Trump and the Americans.

So, for once, I don't have any trouble believing what President Trump has to say.

But I'd sure like to know how that leak to the Star worked. Trump didn't seem all that unhappy about it yesterday, so perhaps that suggests a narrative.

This post also appears on David Climenhaga's blog, AlbertaPolitics.ca.

Image: David Climenhaga

Like this article? Please chip in to keep stories like these coming.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.