Orchard: How The Americans Could Save Us From Ourselves On Free Trade

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Sean in Ottawa

NDPP wrote:

NDP Leader Singh Open to Bilateral Trade Deal With Trump


"Asked specifically, if he would be ok if Trump ripped up NAFTA and turned to Canada to work out something between the two countries, Singh said 'absolutely.'

I think this is stupid.

First appeasement does not work with Trump.

Second Trump cannot be beaten or matched by Canada.

He can be beaten by significant and united global pressure by multiple countries on the US political divisions that already exist.

I think Singh might be in over his head. Most people understand that the only way to hold back this bully is to stand as close together as possible for now. Canada should save its concerns about Mexico for a later process of the negotiating table. Back stabbing one trade partner in order to appease a former trade partner who cannot be appeased does not sound like a good plan.

Canada needs as many non-US trade partners as possible to deal with the gap created by a potential trade war with the US. It should not let itself be isolated from the other countries that are also trying to deal with this. Canada also has the shitty optics of being seen like a US appendage by much of the world. There is nothing but loss that can come of seperating this country from the other countries presently being screwed over by the US.

voice of the damned

Sean wrote:

The worst part of the article is where Cameron tries to guess at the tea leaves of what Trump is really attempting to do. There is simly no evidence other than circumstance for it and a lot more evidence that Trump is winging it. The pivot to China phase he speaks about? -- Well if the Chinese make things worthwhile for the Trump family, no doubt this is a different pivot than Cameron is implying. the suggestion there is strategy in the bullying might even be the greatest misunderstanding of Trump.

Is it not more likely that he is just trying to please Americans competing with Canadians in the only way he can? Let's speculate for a minute. Canada has said that it already offered Trump most of what it was asking regarding China and was willing to discuss the rest. Instead of take advantage of that, Trump gave an ultimatum that had nothing to do with China and prevented talks from continuing. You know this in part becuase Cameron acknowledges what Canada did to please Trump on China. He just leaves that hanging.

And I have to wonder, if, as Cameron says, the TPP was all about screwing China, and Trump is all about screwing China, why didn't he just stick with the TPP, instead of abandoning it and instead trying to screw China via renegotiations of NAFTA and shouting matches with Canada and Europe? The latter strategy seems like a rather roundabout way of getting what he wants.


Sean's analysis makes sense. The other side of the coin is that Trump has no long term strategy. In his business all that matters is the short term profits, the next quarter, not the next year. All his shouting and insults and unpredictability and declarations of "unfairness" are the only way he knows how to negotiate. 

Now instead of leading a large powerful company and brand he is leading the US which is far more powerful. Sean is exactly right that he sees no difference between his leading a powerful company and his leading a powerful country. He thinks he can bully everyone "below" him. That's why he is so angry that Canada has been approaching state leaders and senators. They are his underlings. Canada has no business talking to them directly. 

Is it possible that Trump has inadvertently exposed US weaknesses? By overplaying his hand on trade he has left the world no choice but to reject US power. The US is just as dependent on the rest of the world as we are on it. Trade deals excluding the US just got way more important. Trump hasn't just declared a trade war on the world, he has declared it on multi-national corporations. They are the ones that have been all for these trade deals. 

The US constantly complains about how they have to spend so much money on their military and the rest of the world doesn't pull its weight, especially Canada. Nobody is asking the US to have a military as big as the rest of the world's combined. The US is the cause of the arms race. They aren't doing us any favors. 

I don't think the US will ever be called the leader of  the free world again. Trump fell for US propaganda. 


The Deceptive Promise of Free Trade (doco)


Global trade is a hot topic at the G7 summit in Canada. Is free trade truly free - and fair? What roles do US President Donald Trump, economic powerhouse China and the EU play in global trade?