Canadians are largely known as the nicest people in the world. But one wouldn’t know that if listening to President Trump. In a recent press briefing journalists outside the White House were told that Canada is ‘very spoiled, and very difficult to deal with’. But Canadians shouldn’t feel too picked on, as Trump had similar things to say about Mexico too.
These statements come at a time when the United States is in the process of the renegotiation of NAFTA, otherwise known as the North American Free Trade Agreement. Trump is known for making bold, often concerning statements, so these new abrasive statements are nothing new. But given that the United States has shared excellent trade with Canada up until the Trump administration, just how serious is the situation?
Trump Playing Hard Ball
Prior to Mister Trump taking the presidency, many feared that relations between the United States and Canada would deteriorate. It was a primary concern, with a number of voices saying that trade agreements between the United States and Canada would likely collapse entirely. Now, with the latest developments, it seems that these concerns hold truth. Admittedly the countries are vastly different in many ways, and although Canada is far smaller financially they have a lot to offer in terms of resources, and they also allow for Internet-based casino sites to operate within their borders, so they hold firm over the US in many ways that benefit them economically.
Trump had more to say after calling Canada spoiled and difficult, with his focus seeming to be on the fact that Canada and Mexico had been taking advantage of the United States, and that the negotiations were only what should have been done long ago. He went on to declare that in the end the United States would emerge victorious, and win big. He also alleged that Canada makes $1 billion in trade with the US, but analysts blew this figure out the water, saying that this wasn’t possible as in 2017 U.S. goods and services trade with Canada totalled an estimated $673.9 billion.
So what are Trump’s concerns with the trade agreements, if any?
Free And Balanced Trade
General consensus seems to be that trade between Canada and the United States has always been balanced and fair, and that Trump’s aggressive stance towards his northern neighbours is nothing but unwarranted hard ball where it is not needed. Many are saying that Trump should instead be focusing his attention on trade with the Chinese, where trade is far less balanced, and far less fair.
Most recently President Trump has sanctioned tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, a move that would greatly hurt Canada, who supplies an enormous amount of the materials to the United States. In response Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stated that such tariffs would be completely unacceptable. Why the concern over these materials?
President Trump made mention of the United States autoworkers being unhappy, so the concern seems to be based around automobile manufactures. Either way, the negotiations are far bigger and more important than tariffs, with the economies of both countries at risk of serious upset.
Canadian Response To Trump
The Canadian response to President Trump’s abrasive words has been level and calm. Prime Minister Trudeau has said only that negotiations are always challenging, and that he would be working hard with his American counterparts to find a solution, and modernise the NAFTA agreement.
It need not be said that given the size differences between the economies of the two countries, that Canada is at the most risk. Though Canada does indeed provide essential trade opportunities, and essential materials to the United States. Tourism between the two countries is also good, with a number of United States residents travelling to Canada and vice versa on a regular basis.
No more NAFTA meetings are planned at present, but the situation will surely find resolve in the near future. The sort of agreements that will be made remain to be seen, but Canadians and Americans will be holding their breaths until then.