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Analysis

'I'm pretty well **bleep** off': Strategic or not, here's how Trump's tariffs on U.S. allies could backfire

If there's a political rationale for the Trump administration imposing steel and aluminum tariffs on U.S. allies such as Canada, many economists believe it's about playing to the farm vote and manufacturing sector. The danger in this, analysts warn, is that an escalating trade war will hurt the farm belt.

Nobody wins in a trade war, economists warn — and that includes Trump's rural farm voters

 
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Matt Kwong · CBC News · Posted: Jun 01, 2018 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: 6 hours ago
 
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Blake Hurst owns a farm in northwest Missouri that has 6,000 acres of corn and soybeans. Much of the crop is exported and retaliatory measures taken in the wake of Donald Trump's new steel and aluminum tariffs will likely harm his bottom line. (Lyndsay Duncombe/CBC)

Blake Hurst can't help but laugh. The future of his family farm in northwest Missouri looks that grim.

"It's gonna be painful," he said, hours before new tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum kicked in at midnight on Friday. "What else you gonna do?"

Hurst's first concerns were about how U.S. President Donald Trump's threats to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement might further imperil his livelihood.

Then came Trump's proclamation last March that he would impose sweeping tariffs — 25 per cent on foreign steel and 10 per cent on foreign aluminum — in a move seen as taking aim at China for dumping cheap metal into the U.S. market.

For a while, at least, there was some reprieve. The European Union, Canada and Mexico were exempt from the tariffs, keeping Hurst hopeful the foreign economies he relies on wouldn't retaliate with punishing duties against the U.S.

Most of Hurst's corn crop is exported to Mexico. (Lyndsay Duncombe/CBC)

No such luck.

Mexico, Europe and Canada announced retaliatory tariffs on Thursday after the U.S. moved to slap on new tariffs on steel and aluminum, escalating a trade dispute between the Americans and their top trading partners.

Hurst, 61, sighed on the phone while speaking to CBC News.

"Our three biggest markets for farm exports are Canada, Mexico and China," he said. "For our soybeans, by the far the biggest is China. And a lot of our corn goes to Mexico."

'National security' justification

In justifying the tariffs in March, Trump invoked "national security," reasoning that the protection of American aluminum and steel was "vital" for "the bedrock of our defence industrial base."

Critics heard a flimsy pretext for imposing metal tariffs, arguing Trump was merely exploiting a loophole in World Trade Organization rules that allows trade restrictions for the purposes of national security.

Ahead of the midterm elections coming in November, Trump could also be targeting a bloc of anti-free trade voters championing protectionism.

"Most economists would say tariffs, generally, are not a good idea because of the deadweight loss they impose and the threats of retaliations," said Saumitra Jha, who lectures on political economy at Stanford University.

"This might be very beneficial for some key constituencies and electoral districts, but you're talking about very specific producers and commodities benefiting."

If there is a political rationale, many economists believe it's that Trump is playing to the farm vote, as well as an industrial manufacturing base. Pennsylvania steelworkers who voted for Trump might be pleased if they believe the president is standing up for them against cheap foreign steel flooding the domestic market.

"It's a small group, relative to the general problem of tariffs, retaliations, downstream things and costs of everything going up," Jha said.

Why Trump would go after Canada, the No. 1 exporter of steel and aluminum to the U.S., isn't obvious.

Douglas Porter, chief economist at the Bank of Montreal, told the Los Angeles Times in March that Canada was "flabbergasted" to be portrayed as "trade villains," considering Canada supplied $7 billion of aluminum and $4 billion of steel to the U.S. in 2017.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland on Thursday announced dollar-for-dollar tariff 'countermeasures' on up to $16.6 billion worth of U.S. imports. (Patrick Doyle/Canadian Press)

For its part, the American Farm Bureau Federation — which bills itself as the "voice of agriculture" — fears a trade dispute. More than 75 per cent of the rural farm belt voted for Trump in 2016, according to the Washington Post.

Farmers like Hurst, who is the president of the Missouri Farm Bureau, backed Trump then. But Hurst said his support is "shakier" now than it was six months ago.

"I'm pretty well **bleep** off. Economically, this is almost certain to backfire. But I'm not totally sure it's not going to be politically popular."

Beijing has warned it may slap 25 per cent on soybean imports, which would severely harm Hurst's business.

Ottawa's countermeasures for now will be dollar-for-dollar on steel and aluminum from the States, as well as duties on American maple syrup, soy sauce, coffee and other products.

China had already raised import duties on U.S. pork, tailored to strike pork producers in Trump-favouring red states such as North Carolina and Indiana.

Four generations of the Hurst family have farmed in northwest Missouri. Hurst was first worried about NAFTA but is now concerned about the newly announced tariffs. (Lyndsay Duncombe/CBC)

Dave Salmonsen, the Farm Bureau's senior director for congressional relations, scanned Canada's new tariffs list. Reciting it aloud Thursday, he stopped on another political pressure point for Trump.

"Yogurt, coffee, prepared meats, candies … whiskies!" he exclaimed. "Oh boy, Kentucky and Tennessee won't like that at all."

Kentucky is the home state of Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has warned about a "slippery slope" of trade swipes in retaliation for Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs.

Orange juice is also on Canada's duties list, which could potentially negatively impact swing-state Florida, won by Trump in 2016.

European leaders have suggested cranberries and Harley Davidson motorcycles might be subject to higher duties. Both are major products from Wisconsin, the home state of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan.

In March, a group of 107 House Republicans urged Trump to reconsider the sweeping tariffs, arguing they would hurt American jobs.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced Thursday that an exemption for Canadian, Mexican and European Union steel and aluminum would end at midnight, as scheduled. (Eric Thayer/Reuters)

Even so, supporters of the tariffs, like Mike Bless, CEO of the largest U.S. aluminum producer, Century Aluminum, are confident they'll win out.

"President Trump's decisive action protects thousands of American aluminum workers and puts U.S. national security first," Bless said in an email statement, adding his industry is on track to hike production by 60 per cent by year's end.

'You lose more jobs than you gain'

When the tariffs were first announced, Bless said he expected to hire 300 workers.

To Ben Zycher, a resident scholar at the Washington think-tank the American Enterprise Institute, those benefits look to be short-sighted.

"There's no question you lose more jobs than you gain," he said. "That's simply the reality of any kind of protectionist move. Protectionism makes the economy smaller by imposing artificial costs."

Zycher noted it's possible the political dynamics are such that "the jobs gained are more important politically to the Trump administration" than jobs lost in other sectors.

Trump's national security rationale isn't convincing to Zycher. In fact, he said, "the steel tariffs are likely to harm other sectors that are also important for national security."

canadian-steel-and-aluminum-at-a-glance.

Take, for example, the energy sector — another arguably critical industry. It relies on cheaper foreign steel to operate oilfields. High-pressure pipelines are often made of special steels not currently produced in the U.S.

Economists expect Trump's "national security" rationale will be challenged before the WTO.

Back on his farm, Hurst is now worried about steel prices rising. While his industry braces for retaliatory tariffs, costs will also increase for steel-made tractors, combines, greenhouses and grain tanks.

He said he can only hope Trump's moves somehow pay off.

"As far as the Canadian and Mexican tariffs, I can't even understand what he hopes to gain by that," he said. "You have to hope there's a negotiating strategy. But I think patience is starting to wear thin."

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Inflatable boats, felt pens and beer kegs: Here’s what Canada targeted with tariffs, and why

 
‎Yesterday, ‎May ‎31, ‎2018, ‏‎8:07:43 PM | Marie-Danielle Smith

OTTAWA — After United States President Donald Trump made good on his threat to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada for “national security” reasons Thursday, Canada retaliated with its own — and slapped its neighbour with new tariffs on a laundry list of specific items.

From inflatable boats to ketchup to felt-tip pens, we tried to make sense of the weirder American products facing punishment from Canadians.

Sleeping bags

According to a published list of the party’s targets, the Democrats will be zeroing in on battleground districts in California and Colorado in the 2018 midterm election. One thing those two states have in common is selling sleeping bags to Canada and, now, a tariff on them.

The Democrats are targeting no fewer than eight congressional districts in California, the biggest sleeping-bag-exporting state to Canada.

Wiggy’s — an outdoor apparel company based in Grand Junction, Colo. that supplies gear to the U.S. military — is based in a district represented by the vulnerable Republican Scott Tipton. His district leans slightly Republican, compared to the national average, but could be one of the first to go if a Democratic wave emerges in the election. Wiggy’s employs 34 people, according to the company’s website.

Breakfast

Breakfast items feature heavily in the tariffs list. Unsurprisingly, Florida, the state home to President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, is where we get the vast majority of the non-frozen orange juice targeted by Canadian tariffs Thursday.

Starbucks looks to be the loser for roasted coffee imports, since Washington state, with three districts targeted by Democrats in midterm elections this fall, is responsible for $198 million of Canada’s $526 million in imports from the U.S. Meanwhile, the ultimate losers in the strawberry jam category are likely Californians, who produce about three-quarters of strawberries in the U.S.

Because a producers’ association in Quebec — what Conservative MP Maxime Bernier likes to call the “maple syrup cartel” — uses quotas to regulate the amount of maple syrup the province turns out, U.S. producers have been increasing their imports to Canada. Since the early 2000s, Quebec has experienced the slowest growth in maple syrup production of any syrup-producing market in North America — about 60 per cent, according to the Montreal Economic Institute. Meanwhile, Maine’s production grew 131 per cent and Vermont’s 254 per cent.

We get about three-quarters of our maple syrup from Maine. The state only has two congressional districts and Democrats are looking to depose a Republican in one of them.

Felt pens

Pennsylvania, a major battleground in the upcoming midterm elections, supplies about $7 million worth of felt pens to Canada each year, according to government statistics. The Democrats are targeting six districts in the state.

The tariff could also be seen as a symbolic shot at Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, whose home town of Janesville, Wisc. is synonymous with pens given the Parker Pens company was founded there. Market forces have already done their damage to Janesville, though: In 2009, Parker Pens closed its operations in the town, eliminating 153 manufacturing jobs.

There’s another reason Canada might be going after felt pens: In one of his few decisions that didn’t break from White House norms, Trump is using the same type of pen for executive orders that Barack Obama and George W. Bush used. You guessed it: a felt pen.

Soy sauce (and other Wisconsin specialties)

A long list of tariff categories announced Thursday seem to target the state of Wisconsin, farmers from which apparently inspired some of Trump’s harshest anti-Canada words when in an April 2017 speech in the state he called NAFTA a “complete and total disaster” for the U.S., taking particular aim at Canada’s system of dairy supply management.

Among U.S. states, Wisconsin is the top exporter of handkerchiefs, tissues, tablecloths, soy sauce and fruit spreads (the category in which we are penalizing strawberry jam, specifically); it is the state from which we get the second-most yogurt and toilet paper.

The cherry on top: most of the soy sauce produced in North America comes from Kikkoman’s plant in the Wisconsin congressional district held by Speaker Ryan, who announced earlier this year he won’t be running again.

Appliances

The new tariffs target dishwashers, fridges, lawn mowers, washing machines and water heaters, many of which come from electoral swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin that depend heavily on manufacturing.

All three states featured on a U.S. Chamber of Commerce list of the 12 states that would be hardest hit if the U.S. were to withdraw from NAFTA, published in November, with Wisconsin and Ohio in second and sixth place, respectively. Trump took all three states in 2016, winning Wisconsin by fewer than 25,000 votes.

Tariffs on dishwasher detergents, soaps and skin creams also seem to be directed primarily at Ohio, as does a tariff on “candles, tapers and the like not including those for birthdays, Christmas or other festive occasions.” Canada imported nearly $40 million worth of candles from Ohio in 2017.

Ketchup

Ontarians will remember last year’s controversy over ketchup manufacturing, which saw French’s ketchup prioritize producing its sauce from Canadian tomatoes to win favour after Heinz shut down a plant in Leamington, Ont.

As of Thursday, U.S.-produced mustard and ketchup are facing new tariffs. In the ketchup category, it’s no surprise that Heinz rakes in a big market share. Of the more than $264 million in ketchup that Canada imports from the states annually, $81.4 million comes from Heinz’s home state and congressional battleground state Pennsylvania. 

Inflatable boats 

This is an odd one, not least because Canada doesn’t actually import that many inflatable boats — just $2.4 million worth from the U.S. last year, in fact. Canada’s biggest supplier of American inflatable boats is South Carolina, likely due to the Zodiac Nautic manufacturing plant in Summerville, S.C.

So why the hate-on for Zodiac boats? It’s tough to say. The plant is in a solidly Republican congressional district, currently represented by Mark Sanford, the former governor who famously disappeared for a week in 2009 to spend time with his mistress.

Canada is taking aim at other boats, too, including sailboats (also big in South Carolina) and motorboats, many of which come from Florida.

Beer kegs

Pottstown, Penn. is the home of the American Keg Company, the only steel beer-keg manufacturer in the U.S. Pottstown also happens to be in Pennsylvania’s 6th congressional district, a competitive district currently held by the Republicans that the Democrats are targeting in the midterms.

In March, American Keg CEO Paul Czachor went on National Public Radio to say he was pleased with Trump’s decision to impose steel tariffs — sort of. He felt he was being undercut by cheap, imported kegs, mainly from China. But the radio host pointed out that the tariffs were applied to the raw material, not finished products, and asked if that wouldn’t drive his costs up.

“Yes, that’s correct,” Czachor said. “And we are very worried about that.”

• Email: mdsmith@postmedia.com | Twitter: mariedanielles

• Email: mforrest@postmedia.com | Twitter: MauraForrest

• Email: sxthomson@postmedia.com | Twitter: stuartxthomson

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May 31, 2018 2:12 pm

Updated: May 31, 2018 4:09 pm

Mexico aims tariff countermeasures at key Republican-contested districts

By Staff Reutersexico calls Trump tariffs 'worst-case scenario', refrains from calling it trade
 

WATCH: Mexico's economy minister Ildefonso Guajardo said Thursday that the decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum products was the "worst-case scenario," but refrained from calling it a trade war.

 

Mexico retaliated almost immediately against U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum on Thursday, focusing on products from congressional districts President Donald Trump‘s Republican party is fighting to retain in November elections.

“It sends a clear message that this kind of thing does not benefit anybody,” Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said in an interview on Mexican radio about the measures against U.S. products ranging from steel to grapes.

“Because, in the end, the effect will fall on voters and citizens that live in districts where the people have voice and vote in the North American Congress.”

READ MORE: From pork to jeans — countries threaten tariff retaliation for U.S. steel, aluminum duties

The Mexican measures target pork legs, apples, grapes and cheeses as well as steel – products from U.S. heartland states that supported Trump in the 2016 election. The country reacted quickly after Washington said in the morning it was moving ahead with tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

Mexico said it was imposing wide-ranging “equivalent” measures, ratcheting up tensions during talks with Washington to renegotiate NAFTA and ahead of the U.S. mid-term elections. The measures will be in place until the U.S. government eliminates its tariffs, the ministry said.

WATCH: Canada to impose ‘dollar-for-dollar’ retaliatory tariffs on the U.S.

Guajardo said retaliation was aimed at products chosen to hit districts with important lawmakers who had been warning Trump not to mess with Mexico. He estimated the U.S. tariffs would affect $4 billion in trade between the two countries.

Trump’s Republicans are fighting to retain control of Congress in the midterms. Their majority in the House of Representatives is seen as vulnerable.

WATCH: EU head says US tariffs on steel, aluminium imports totally unacceptable

Pork exporter Iowa, where incumbent Republican Rod Blum in the 1st congressional district is considered vulnerable, is an example of a place Mexico’s reaction could hurt.

“It is a sad day for international trade,” Guajardo said. “But hey, the decision was made, and we always said that we were going to be ready to react.”

READ MORE: U.S. stocks fall after Trump administration announces steel, aluminum tariffs

Mexico buys more steel and aluminum from the United States than it sells. It is the top buyer of U.S. aluminum and the second-biggest buyer of U.S. steel, the economy ministry said.

The countermeasures will hit U.S. hot and cold rolled steel, plated steel and tubes, the ministry said.

The United States, Canada and Mexico have been renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, which governs trade between the three countries.

WATCH: Trudeau says approach to G7 meeting unchanged despite tariffs

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto spoke by phone following the U.S. announcement. Canada also pledged to fight back with its own measures.

Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said the country will continue negotiating with the United States to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement despite “unjust and unilateral” tariff measures by the U.S. government

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May 31st:

Quote

The White House released a statement from Trump Thursday night saying of NAFTA: “Earlier today, this message was conveyed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada: The United State (sic) will agree to a fair deal, or there will be no deal at all.”

Trump had offered permanent exemption from the steel and aluminum tariffs if they agreed to U.S. demands on NAFTA.

Then:

Quote

      

 
 

Canada has treated our Agricultural business and Farmers very poorly for a very long period of time. Highly restrictive on Trade! They must open their markets and take down their trade barriers! They report a really high surplus on trade with us. Do Timber & Lumber in U.S.?

And in the "Real World" outside his midget brain:
 

Quote

 

According to the most recent statistics from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s website, the U.S. goods and services trade with Canada totalled an estimated US$673.9 billion in 2017. The U.S. exported $341.2 billion to Canada, while importing US$332.8 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade surplus with Canada was US$8.4 billion in 2017, according to the website.

David MacNaughton, Canada’s Ambassador to the U.S., pointed out that America runs a trade surplus with Canada’s agriculture industry.

“American farmers are some of the biggest beneficiaries of NAFTA and Canada-U.S. trade,” MacNaughton tweeted. “The U.S. has a $1.9 billion trade surplus with Canada in agriculture and agri-food, which includes a $333 million surplus in dairy #FriendsPartnersAllies.”

 

 

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June 2, 2018 6:57 am

U.S. tariffs mean NAFTA talks have ‘fallen through the floor:’ senior Canadian official

By Staff The Canadian Press
 

WATCH: When asked about Donald Trump's criticism of Canada with regards to NAFTA, Global Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said that she, the Prime Minister and the government of Canada will be absolutely resolute in defense of the Canadian national interest.

A senior Canadian government official says Donald Trump’s decision to end an exemption for Canada and Mexico from tariffs on steel and aluminum exports mean the chances of ever striking a new NAFTA deal have “just fallen through the floor.”

The U-S president defended the tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum on Friday — repeating his claim that NAFTA has been a terrible deal for the U-S, allowing Canada and Mexico to make “many billions of dollars” at the expense of Americans.

Trump also resurrected his idea of negotiating separate bilateral trade pacts with Canada and Mexico, saying a trilateral deal doesn’t make sense because all three countries are very different. But Canadian officials say the federal government remains committed to NAFTA.

READ MORE: Canada files WTO challenge of U.S. tariffs, vows to work with EU to oppose trade war

Prime Minister Trudeau says Canada will retaliate for the U-S tariffs by imposing 16.6 billion dollars worth of “countermeasures” that hit a range of U-S products, from flat-rolled steel to playing cards.

 

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John Ivison: The pitch Trudeau needs to make to Americans? ‘Don’t mess with success’

 
‎Today, ‎June ‎4, ‎2018, ‏‎21 minutes ago | John Ivison

Justin Trudeau performed faultlessly on NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd on Sunday — if you were watching from a Canadian perspective.

But the point, presumably, was to change the hearts and minds of a U.S. audience about the judiciousness of Donald Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum — and from that point of view, the Prime Minister’s message was unconvincing.

“Condescending hypocrite” was one response on the NBC website; “Castro’s son — don’t come to our country and blast our president,” said another.

Trudeau was measured, pointing out that Canada and the U.S. have the most successful economic partnership and alliance in the history of the modern world. He argued persuasively that trade negotiations are not a zero-sum game and that Canada is seeking a win-win solution.

But inevitably, the headlines were generated by his use of the word “insulting” in reference to the use of a national security provision as the excuse for imposing the tariffs.

On CNN, global affairs minister Chrystia Freeland was even more forceful, saying Canadians are “hurt and insulted” by being classified as a national security threat.

 

Larry Kudlow, Trump’s economic adviser, suggested the Canadians were “overreacting.”

“To say this is an attack on Canada is not right,” he said on Fox News Sunday. He compared the trade dispute to a “family quarrel” and suggested the steel and aluminum tariffs are subject to negotiation, which reveals the travesty of the national security provision. (If there is a genuine threat, how can it be negotiable?)

But Trudeau and Freeland should take a leaf from the book of baseball coach Tommy Lasorda, who once said he found it was pointless to talk about his troubles. “Eighty per cent of people don’t care and the other 20 per cent are glad you’re having them,” he said.

Trudeau should be reiterating the message that Trump himself is trumpeting — that in his first 500 days, the President’s massive tax cuts and deregulation have produced “the best economy and jobs EVER and much more.”

The prime minister should gloss over the damage being done to security alliances, the potential debt bubble, the blind eye being turned to climate change and the impending constitutional crisis — those are America’s problems. Instead, he should point to the 223,000 jobs created in May, which reduced the unemployment rate to 3.8 per cent.

As The Economist said last week, Trump’s “home-brewed economic vision” has seen the earnings of listed firms rise by 22 per cent in the first quarter of 2018; investment increase by 19 per cent in the same period and optimism among the country’s 29 million small firms reach record highs.

These gains have been made in a time of rules, openness and multilateral deals. Trudeau’s message should be: “Who in their right mind would mess with this formula?” Trade wars might be winnable, but at a cost — the most immediate of which is unpredictability.

Todd asked Trudeau what he thought Trump wants from NAFTA. A better deal on the autos sector from Mexico, the prime minister said, and more access to agricultural sectors like dairy.

The president reiterated his desire for changes on agriculture in a tweet on Monday. “Farmers have not been doing well for 15 years. Mexico, Canada and China have treated them unfairly. By the time I finish trade talks, that will change. Big barriers against U.S. farmers, and other businesses, will finally be broken.”

If Trump does have legitimate grounds for complaint, it is on the access for U.S. dairy, eggs and chicken that is restricted by Canada’s supply management system. Trudeau indicated Canada is prepared to bend. “We were moving towards flexibility in those areas that I think was very promising,” he told Todd.

The comments by both Kudlow and Trump suggest they are still interested in a deal but that Canada will have to concede on dairy — not a bad thing necessarily, if it can be traded for concessions elsewhere.

That is obviously easier said than done when you are sitting across the table from someone who is more slippery than a greased weasel.

But the trading system agreed to with the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs in 1947 has proven resilient to challenges over the past 70 years. It has survived because outlaw nations have found themselves on the receiving end of massive retaliation. If Trump has not yet been apprised of the consequences of his tariffs, he certainly will be in Charlevoix, Que. this week at what is likely to be the G6 + 1 leaders’ summit.

It’s not yet clear, for all Trump’s bluster and brinksmanship, that he is ready to risk long-term economic damage in pursuit of his quest to reduce the trade deficit. And even if he is, it is even less clear that Congress and corporate America, which have to this point understood that NAFTA would be renegotiated, are prepared to go along for that wild ride.

It is to the broader self-interest of Americans that Trudeau has to make his pitch.

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Everyone wants something for nothing including Canada & Mexico.

Until we know the details of the Canadian position that led to the trade dispute, it's rally hard to get that 'go Canada' feeling; God only knows what kind of insanity Trudeau & Freeland are pushing. 

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it's the Art of the Deal.  He is posturing, Trudeau is posturing, everyone is posturing.

When Bush Placed the same Tarrifs on Steel back in the early 2000s it cost Americans 200,000 Jobs and $30 Billion off the GDP.  It was ruled to be illegal tarrifs by the WTO and was eventually removed.

CAll the bluff.

 

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Trudeau & Freeland don't have any appreciation for trade, or business concerns in general, so they went into NAFTA discussions acting as SJW's.

Anyone with a lick of sense knew that sort of liberal wish list nonsense wasn't going to fit into trade negotiations. Getting into something of a trade war now shouldn't come as a surprise.

 

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Looking at Mexico's list, I bet we can supply them with most of the items and bypass the US.

Trump tariffs: Mexico retaliates against US products

The list includes whisky, cheese, steel, bourbon, and pork.

Analysts say the tariffs are designed to hit US Republican strongholds ahead of mid-term elections in November.

Mr Trump last week levied tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Mexico, Canada and the European Union, riling key US allies.

The move has also dismayed some domestic businesses, including pork producers, who now face a 20% tariff on exporting leg and shoulder to Mexico.

Mexico is the largest market for US pork exporters.

Other products affected by the new tariffs include apples and potatoes. Certain cheeses and bourbon will be hit with 20% to 25% duties.

Mexico - a net importer of US steel - is also putting 25% duties on a range of American steel products.

Political dimension?

The potential economic effect on US exporters could damage Republican support ahead of November's midterms.

In Iowa, the top pork-producing state in the US, with Mexico as its largest market, Republican Congressman Rod Blum is seen as vulnerable.

"We need trade and one of the things we're concerned about is long-term implications that these trade issues will have on our partnerships with Mexico and Canada and other markets," Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, a Republican, was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

"If our customers around the world start going to other parts of the world for their supplies, that is a serious problem," he said.

The renewed trade dispute between US and Mexico comes amid fraught attempts to renegotiate the trillion-dollar North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta).

The agreement governs trade between the US, Canada and Mexico.

President Trump's economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, on Tuesday revived a possibility that the president would attempt to replace Nafta with bilateral deals with Canada and Mexico - a move both nations oppose.

US-Mexico trade is worth about $600bn annually and about 16% of US goods go to its southern neighbour. Mexico sells about 80% of its exports to the US.

Trade sanctions: The basics

  • What is a trade war? It's when countries attack each other's trade with taxes and quotas. One will raise tariffs, a type of tax, causing the other to respond, in a tit-for-tat escalation. This can hurt economies and lead to rising political tensions.
  • What are tariffs? Taxes on products made abroad. In theory, taxing items coming into the country (imports) makes people less likely to buy them as they become more expensive. They're likely to buy cheaper local products instead, boosting your country's economy.
  • What's a trade deficit? The difference between how much your country buys from another country, compared with how much you sell to that country. The US has a massive trade deficit with China. Last year, it stood at about $375bn.

 

 

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U.S. has reason to see Canada as security threat

 

“ Perhaps, if we weren’t so soft on terrorists and so friendly with dictators, perhaps if our borders weren’t gigantic sieves, or perhaps if we had a well-armed, battle-ready, 21st-century military force capable of fighting and prevailing anywhere in the world, the Americans might actually see us as a valued ally and partner, rather than a cause of concern on their northern border.

But as long as we coddle terrorists, suck up to dictators, neglect our border security, and fail to field a large modern military force, the U.S. will probably never completely trust us or take us seriously. And why would they? “

http://theprovince.com/opinion/letters/letters-u-s-has-reason-to-see-canada-as-security-threat

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Trudeau says gender equality will be top priority at G7 summit despite concern about Trump’s distractions

 

“ The Trudeau government says gender equality will be a top priority as a reachable goal at the G7 leaders’ summit in Quebec this week, despite concerns Canada’s agenda could be overshadowed by tensions between U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders over trade and tariffs.

Senior Canadian government officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Group of Seven leaders will specifically discuss a new commitment to girls’ education when they meet in Charlevoix, Que., on Friday and Saturday. Women’s rights advocates are urging G7 countries to invest US$1.3-billion to close the education gap between boys and girls around the world.

Regardless of disagreements between G7 countries on trade issues, Canadian officials said all of the G7 governments have expressed support for Canada’s overarching theme of gender equality and women’s empowerment. Leaders of the G7 countries – Canada, the United States, France, Britain, Germany, Italy and Japan – will attend a breakfast meeting with the G7 gender equality advisory council, created by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as a part of Canada’s G7 presidency, on Saturday morning in Charlevoix. 

 

The advisory council, a group of high-profile feminist leaders, recently submitted a report to the G7 calling on member states to promote the rights of women and girls by taking concrete action to ensure pay equity, the expansion of access to reproductive health services and improved access to education for girls.

The Malala Fund, founded by gender advisory council member and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, is asking leaders to commit at least US$1.3-billion in education-focused development aid over three years.

 

“This is the most sound investment that can be made for people right across the board,” Malala Fund chief executive Farah Mohamed said in an interview. 

“Investing in girls and women is the single best solution for every single one of those G7 leaders.”

Canadian development organizations say Canada can show leadership by contributing C$500-million toward the global ask of US$1.3-billion. 

“This is an opportunity for Canada because if we want to turn feminist talk into feminist walk, now is the time,” UNICEF Canada president David Morley said.

Asked about the distraction Mr. Trump may pose at the G7 summit, World Vision Canada president Michael Messenger said it would be unfortunate if “discussion gridlock led to the poorest and most vulnerable once again being left behind.” “

 

 

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-trudeau-says-gender-equality-will-be-top-priority-at-g7-summit-despite/

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1 hour ago, Jaydee said:

Trudeau says gender equality will be top priority at G7 summit despite concern about Trump’s distractions

 

“ The Trudeau government says gender equality will be a top priority as a reachable goal at the G7 leaders’ summit in Quebec this week, despite concerns Canada’s agenda could be overshadowed by tensions between U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders over trade and tariffs.

Senior Canadian government officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Group of Seven leaders will specifically discuss a new commitment to girls’ education when they meet in Charlevoix, Que., on Friday and Saturday. Women’s rights advocates are urging G7 countries to invest US$1.3-billion to close the education gap between boys and girls around the world.

Regardless of disagreements between G7 countries on trade issues, Canadian officials said all of the G7 governments have expressed support for Canada’s overarching theme of gender equality and women’s empowerment. Leaders of the G7 countries – Canada, the United States, France, Britain, Germany, Italy and Japan – will attend a breakfast meeting with the G7 gender equality advisory council, created by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as a part of Canada’s G7 presidency, on Saturday morning in Charlevoix. 

 

The advisory council, a group of high-profile feminist leaders, recently submitted a report to the G7 calling on member states to promote the rights of women and girls by taking concrete action to ensure pay equity, the expansion of access to reproductive health services and improved access to education for girls.

The Malala Fund, founded by gender advisory council member and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, is asking leaders to commit at least US$1.3-billion in education-focused development aid over three years.

 

“This is the most sound investment that can be made for people right across the board,” Malala Fund chief executive Farah Mohamed said in an interview. 

“Investing in girls and women is the single best solution for every single one of those G7 leaders.”

Canadian development organizations say Canada can show leadership by contributing C$500-million toward the global ask of US$1.3-billion. 

“This is an opportunity for Canada because if we want to turn feminist talk into feminist walk, now is the time,” UNICEF Canada president David Morley said.

Asked about the distraction Mr. Trump may pose at the G7 summit, World Vision Canada president Michael Messenger said it would be unfortunate if “discussion gridlock led to the poorest and most vulnerable once again being left behind.” “

 

 

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-trudeau-says-gender-equality-will-be-top-priority-at-g7-summit-despite/

Mr> dumb continues to change the world to suit his beliefs. Sadly Male/Female gender equality is a hard sale, multil gender equality will never be accepted in this life time and yet he continues to put the welfare, at least to trade and relations, in jeopardy.    He should instead concentrate on Canada and concentrate on his own back yard. 

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Trump raises War of 1812 ahead of G7 summit

FORGET 1812: TARIFFS WILL BURN THE U.S. ECONOMY LIKE IT’S 2002

  • Calgary Herald
  • 7 Jun 2018
  • JOHN IVISON
getimage.aspx?regionKey=a14zX88dU3OJxmsY5IusSQ%3d%3dJUSTIN TANG / THE CANADIAN PRESS U.S. President Donald Trump will meet one-on-one with both Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron at this week’s G7 summit in Charlevoix, Que., according to Larry Kudlow, Trump’s new economic adviser.

Well at least now we know why Donald Trump considers Canada a national security threat. “Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” he reportedly asked Justin Trudeau in a phone call late last month, referring to the War of 1812, when British troops burned down the presidential residence in retaliation for an American attack on York, presentday Toronto.

The CNN report added a degree of levity to a trade conflict that is becoming increasingly grave, one in which the U.S. has cited national security as the reason for imposing new tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.

Another report — this time in the Washington Post — suggested Trump will seek to stoke divisions when he arrives in Charlevoix, Que., this week for the G7 meeting. Officials are discussing ways to impose additional economic penalties against Canada, the Post reported, in retaliation for Ottawa’s threats to impose retaliatory tariffs next month.

Global Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Wednesday that Canada has had no formal notification of any additional measures being contemplated.

Meanwhile, Larry Kudlow, the president’s new economic adviser, was sent out Wednesday afternoon to brief the press on the G7 trip. As is his style, Kudlow tried to pacify the agitation rather than excite it.

He said Trump will meet one-on-one with both Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron in Quebec.

Kudlow pointed out that the U.S. economy is the fastest growing among the industrialized nations, pushing through three-per-cent growth — a feat he attributed to Trump’s lower taxes and regulatory rollback. He suggested that the president’s trade “reforms” would “open new avenues of growth” — a position putting him at odds with Republicans like Bob Corker, the senator from Tennessee, whose state is home to foreign and domestic auto plants and who has condemned the tariffs as “a dangerous course that should be abandoned.”

Ludlow said Trump’s attempts to fix the world trading system are about “fairness and reciprocity.”

“The policies are working and we hope our friends at the G7 will take notice,” he said. And he downplayed the prospect that Charlevoix will descend into the “G6 plus 1,” as alliances with major allies unravel.

“I regard it like a family quarrel,” he said. “I believe it can be worked out.”

Kudlow presented the picture of a president who views tariffs as a cudgel that will force reluctant trading partners to open up their economies.

Problems with Canada will be worked through, he said, as NAFTA talks continue. “The U.S. and Canada will remain firm friends and allies, whatever short-term disagreements they have.”

But no matter how Trump’s latest hired gun tried to portray his leader as a man of “backbone,” taking on a broken world trade system with the simple sword of truth and the trusty shield of fair play, there are growing concerns that his trade policy might have a disastrous impact on the U.S. and global economies.

In its latest global economic prospects report, the World Bank warned that trade tensions could see global trade decline nine per cent, a drop equivalent to the 2008 financial crisis.

Kudlow was unconvincing when asked how the current situation differs from that which saw President George W. Bush impose steel tariffs in 2002. In that case the tariffs were withdrawn 18 months later after adversely affecting GDP and employment in the U.S.

The Americans were, in that instance, on the receiving end of a World Trade Organization decision that ruled an anti-dumping response was inappropriate because imports were actually declining at the time.

That precedent is unlikely to daunt Trump. As Kudlow said, “international multilateral organizations are not going to determine American policy.”

But a drop in U.S. growth or employment might make the president think twice.

Canadian officials say they are already seeing evidence that the U.S. tariffs are having a boomerang effect. One New York State-based company that has plants on both sides of the border has complained about tariffs being imposed on finished goods — costs that are inevitably passed on to U.S. customers.

These unintended consequences are kicking in even before Canada and other countries retaliate against the steel tariffs.

Kudlow couldn’t point to a difference between 2002 and 2018 because there is none. The results will be the same — which Trump must know. In which case, the tariffs and any additional penalties are a ruse, a negotiating ploy to wring concessions from trading partners.

It may be that we are nearing the end game. If Trump takes the NAFTA sunset clause off the table when he meets Trudeau on Saturday morning — the contentious proposal that would automatically end the deal after five years if all three member countries failed to re-approve it — they could reach the bones of a deal.

If he doesn’t, Trudeau should call his bluff.

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Security threat, our butt: Here are just some of the ways Canadian technology keeps Americans safe

 
‎Today, ‎June ‎8, ‎2018, ‏‎2 hours ago | Tristin Hopper

It’s been a week since the Trump White House slapped Canada with steel and aluminum tariffs on the ground that reliance on our imports was threatening the “national security” of the United States.

If Canadians are particularly galled at this, it might be because no foreign country in modern times has done more to arm and equip the United States than Canada. “I would not be surprised if every single major aircraft or warship in U.S. military service today has Canadian components in it,” said Richard Shimooka, a senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.

Below, a cursory summary of some of the Canadian stuff used by history’s most powerful military.

Landing gear
We’ll start with an entry that directly concerns steel and aluminum. Quebec-based Héroux-Devtek is the world’s third largest aircraft landing gear company, and some of that is thanks to a longstanding relationship with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy. Specifically, Héroux-Devtek is in charge of landing gear repair and overhaul for several large U.S. aircraft, including the heavy-lift C-130 Hercules. Of course, landing gear is made almost entirely of steel or aluminum. So, thanks to these new tariffs, American military procurers are either going to start getting hosed on their Héroux-Devtek contracts — or they’re going to have start getting their landing gear overhauls from a U.S. company that isn’t their first choice.

Armoured personnel carriers
“Canada and the US have been building military equipment for each other since the summer of 1940,” David Bercuson, a military historian at the University of Calgary, told the National Post. “Literally billions of dollars of such equipment has passed the border since then.” The most obvious example is the Stryker. There are nearly 5,000 Stryker armoured personnel carriers in the U.S. military, and all of them were built in London, Ontario. Not only that, but the Stryker is even based on a Canadian design, the LAV III. Coming in at a rock bottom $4 million apiece, the Americans use Strykers for everything: Ambulances, firefighting, missile platforms, chemical weapons defence and mine detection. They even started rigging them up with giant lasers to shoot down enemy drones. Armoured vehicles happen to be a Canadian specialty. While the United States was busy throwing money at big ticket items such as tanks and attack helicopters, the shoestring Canadians have gotten very good at the much cheaper task of simply strapping guns and armour to oversized trucks. And if a U.S. diplomat found themselves touring Iraq in an armoured Toyota Land Cruiser, chances are good they were shielded from bullets and IEDs by Canadian workmanship.

qmi_stryker.jpg?w=640&h=407

A Stryker in action.

Specialized aircraft
Here again, the United States has it covered when it comes to big ticket aircraft such as fighters or bombers. But the U.S. military will occasionally call up Canadian plane-makers when it needs something quirky. Bombardier has retooled some of its airliners and business jets to act as airborne radar platforms. When the United States Army Parachute Team appears at air shows, they’re jumping out of a Canadian-made de Havilland Twin Otter. De Havilland has also hooked up the Americans with some of its famously rugged prop planes for use in electronic warfare, remote cargo drops or simply moving National Guard troops around Alaska. All told, the U.S. military is flying more planes built in Canada than in any other foreign country.

151210-a-xh155-889.jpg?w=640&h=426

The United States Army Parachute Team leap out of a modified Twin Otter.

The U.S. military’s only cargo drone (and it has the most Canadian name imaginable)
A U.S. special forces unit is pinned down on a remote Central Asian mountaintop. Surrounded by militants on all sides, it needs an emergency airlift of water and ammunition to even see daybreak. Enter the SnowGoose, an unmanned autogyro specializing in precision deliveries to special forces. The SnowGoose is the U.S. military’s only cargo drone, and it’s an all-Canadian creation. An emerging theme on this list is that Canada is great at building niche military hardware for cheap, and the SnowGoose is no exception. As the drone’s Stittsville, Ont. builders note, it can move cargo across a battlefield at a fraction of the price of other drones.

 

Nuclear fuel
Uranium is a big part of the modern U.S. military. It has more than 100 nuclear-powered vessels in the navy, and there’s also those 7,000 atomic weapons it still has lying around. Canada has sold a whole lot of uranium to the U.S. military, going all the way back to the initial atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. However, the taps were somewhat shut off in the 1960s, when Canada started limiting uranium exports to “peaceful” purposes. Still, with Canada ranking as the United States’ top uranium dealer, we help keep their uranium topped up enough to have plenty left over for the military. Speaking of nuclear weapons, it might behoove the White House to remember that if a Russian or North Korean missile should happen to be fired in their direction, a Canada-based NORAD station will likely be among the first to let them know.

Making fighter jets last forever
This entry should fill thrifty Canadians with particular pride: We’ve gotten so good at squeezing every penny out of our CF-18s that we’re now globally renowned experts at fighter jet life extension. Among other things, Canada invented “robotic shot-peening,” a method of using robots to restore aging aircraft with a precision never before known. The technology has been exported to Europe, Australia and, in 2013, the U.S. Navy brought in the Quebec aerospace company L-3 MAS to give its jets a makeover.

bs_file11182010122847pmcf18_f.jpg?w=640&

A very old, but very well taken-care-of, CF-18.

Battlefield communications
Tactical radios are another niche technology in which Canadian companies have a built a slow but steady reputation with the Americans. In a 2017 report on Canada/U.S. military industrial cooperation, the Center for Strategic and International Studies noted that the U.S. military has been using Canadian radios since the 1960s. Ultra TCS, headquartered in Montreal, remains a supplier of tactical radios to both the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. And these aren’t just walkie-talkies; they’re hyper-advanced networks that can provide email, voice and even video hook-ups to American troops in battle.

Jeeps
That’s right. The Second World War-era Willys Jeep — one of the most American vehicles in history — was manufactured in part by Canada. Ford Motor Company of Canada churned out thousands of Jeeps after the Second World War. In 1952 alone, Canadian factories were making an average of seven of them per day. According to Ford Canada’s website, “these postwar Canadian-made Jeep were shipped to the United States, for the American military forces.”

1952_willys_jeep_017.jpg?w=640&h=480

A 1952 Willys Jeep similar to what Canada would have been manufacturing for the United States.

Space robots
DARPA is the U.S. agency tasked with pursuing military so cutting edge that they occasionally veer into outright science fiction. Last year, DARPA signed a deal with Canada’s MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates to design robots that could be dispatched into space in order to repair U.S. military satellites. And like most times Canada is brought in for U.S. military stuff, the robot space mechanic program is indeed intended as a cost saving measure. Canada has been a leader in space defence for some time. Our beloved Canadarm, in fact, technically qualifies as an early military space robot. Over the course of the space shuttle program 11 missions were sent up to perform classified work for the Pentagon. We still don’t know the specifics of what the Canadarm did for Uncle Sam on those missions, but the arm is a certifiable Cold Warrior.

shuttle-greatest.jpg?w=640&h=427

The space shuttle was initially envisioned as a vehicle to steal Russian military satellites, in which the Canadarm would have been critical.

Twitter: TristinHopper | Email: thopper@nationalpost.com

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"If he doesn’t, Trudeau should call his bluff."

Now that's funny.

Trudeau was so ineffectual at managing a pipeline dispute between a couple of premiers that Canadian taxpayers finally had to purchase the project.  And now we're expecting him to play tough with Trump?

How much will that folly cost us?

 

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What, me worry?  I trust industry.  I only have to give up breathing or drinking water.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/07/us/politics/epa-toxic-chemicals.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

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Seems that Trump will not back down re our supply management system and also that he will be looking to divide and conquer by doing separate deals with Mexico and Canada. I suspect in the next couple of weeks that he will announce they (the US) are pulling out of NAFTA.

Quote

'The gig is up': Trump demands Canada dismantle supply management or risk trading relationship

In a wide-ranging news conference at the G7 summit in Quebec, U.S. President Donald Trump said Canada would have to dismantle its supply-managed dairy system or else Americans would dramatically curtail the trading relationship — a shot across the bow at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who has vocally defended the country's existing agricultural policies in the face of U.S. opposition.

'We don't want to pay anything, why should we pay anything?' Trump says of Canadian tariffs on dairy products

John Paul Tasker · CBC News · Posted: Jun 09, 2018 11:17 AM ET | Last Updated: 10 minutes ago
President Donald Trump had tough words about Canada's supply management system during a news conference at the G7 summit on Saturday in La Malbaie, Que. (Evan Vucci/AP Photo)

U.S. President Donald Trump says Canada will have to dismantle its supply-managed dairy system or else Americans will dramatically curtail its trading relationship — a shot across the bow at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has vocally defended the country's existing agricultural policies in the face of U.S. opposition.

"No tariffs, no barriers, that's the way it should be and no subsidies. In other words, let's say Canada, where we have tremendous tariffs. The U.S. pays tremendous tariffs on dairy, as an example, 270 per cent ... we don't want to pay anything, why should we pay anything?" Trump said, referencing the Canadian tariff levied on U.S. and foreign milk imports.

Canada levies a tariff of 270 per cent on milk, 245 per cent on cheese and 298 per cent on butter in an effort to keep U.S. and other foreign dairy imports out.

"It's very unfair to our farmers. Our farmers, whether it's through a non-tariff trade barrier or whether it's through very high tariffs ... this is all over the world. You can't do that. It's going to stop, or we'll stop trading," he said.

As recently as Thursday Trudeau said his Liberal government will strongly support the current system that uses quotas to control the amount of dairy products produced by farmers, to ensure the national supply matches expected demand.

The Canadian Dairy Commission, which works with the provincial milk marketing boards to co-ordinate quotas and pricing, has consistently defended the system as a way to avoid surpluses and shortages — but also to help stabilize farmers' income.

"There's a reason why Donald Trump continues to write tweets on dairy products and Canada — it's because I've told him many times: 'No, he won't touch, we won't touch, our supply management system,'" Trudeau told reporters Thursday. "We will always defend our supply management system."

Trump said he doesn't blame foreign leaders for the state of the trading relationship, instead laying blame on past U.S. presidents who have entered into deals that, he asserts, have enriched allies while hollowing out American industry.

Treating U.S. like 'a piggy bank'

He said while the U.S. has kept its tariffs low to promote global free trade, other countries have left protectionist policies in place, disadvantaging the U.S.

In a wide-ranging news conference at the G7 summit in Quebec, Trump said Canada and other G7 countries — historically his country's closest allies — have treated the U.S. like a "piggy bank that everyone's robbing ... the gig is up. They can't believe they got away with it [for so long]. Canada can't believe it got away with it."

Trump made his comments before leaving the G7 summit in La Malbaie, Que. early Saturday — skipping an afternoon working group discussion on climate change, energy and protection the world's oceans — where trade issues have dominated the agenda due to a protectionist push by the Trump administration.

Ahead of the meeting, some G7 leaders telegraphed they'd use the summit to have "tough and frank" conversations with Trump and argue the virtues of freer trade as he tightens the tariff noose.

Those efforts seemed to have failed, as Trump doubled down on his pledge to erect further trade barriers if he cannot extract concessions from partners.

Trump warned countries against levying retaliatory tariffs on the U.S. after his administration imposed punitive tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Canada, Mexico, and the EU on national security grounds.

Canada has already said it will impose some $16.5 billion in new tariffs on U.S. goods ranging from lawn mowers to felt-tipped pens in response to the new 10 per cent levy on the country's aluminum and the 25 per cent tariff on Canadian steel.

"We'll win that war 1,000 times out of a 1,000," he said.

Calls for bilateral deal with Canada, Mexico

Despite the tough words, Trump said his relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Trudeau is at a "10." 

"The relationship that I've had with these leaders is great ... so you can tell that to your fake friends at CNN," he said after a reporter from that network asked about the state of the relationship with these close U.S. allies.

Speaking of the stalled NAFTA negotiations, Trump again reiterated he prefers to sign a bilateral deal with Canada rather than push ahead with an agreement with the three original signatories. He has said a U.S.-Canada deal will be easier to achieve given the similarities of the two advanced economies. U.S. negotiators have frequently sparred with Mexican authorities over wages and workers' rights.

"We're either going to have NAFTA in a better negotiated form or we're going to have two [separate] deals ... it'll have a sunset. We're pretty close on the sunset division," Trump said, referencing the U.S. demand for a sunset clause in a final agreement.

Canadian negotiators have said a five-year sunset clause — which would prompt a reworking of the trade deal every five years — is a "poison pill" for trade talks. Canada and Mexico have opposed such a clause because of the economic shocks that come from uncertainty about NAFTA's future.

Trump will now begin his nearly 20-hour journey to Singapore where he is expected to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on June 12, a tête-à-tête designed to encourage the rogue state to end its nuclear program.

 

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So, is Trump planning to do away with US farm subsidies?

"The U.S. government presently pays about $25 billion in cash annually to farmers and owners of farmland."  That must tip the scales of "fair" competition.  There's way too many votes from farm states to ever change all the subsidies.

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10 minutes ago, Warren said:

So, is Trump planning to do away with US farm subsidies?

"The U.S. government presently pays about $25 billion in cash annually to farmers and owners of farmland."  That must tip the scales of "fair" competition.  There's way too many votes from farm states to ever change all the subsidies.

Sorry Warren, in "America First" that would of course not count.  Next on his agenda could be to address Airline Cabotage.  I can just see it now, a bilateral with Canada to allow each other's airlines to carry passengers between all Canadian and US cities.  Of course if this ever happened, the large US carriers would bury would airlines within a very brief span of time.

For those who don't understand Cabotage: https://www.aopa.org/travel/international-travel/cabotage

 

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NO new NAFTA without five-year sunset clause, Trump says at G7

 
     
     
     
     
 
     
     
 

The Canadian Press 
Published Saturday, June 9, 2018 12:55PM EDT 

QUEBEC - Donald Trump says he wants to make a deal on NAFTA, and he's open to working with the current pact or striking separate agreements with Canada and Mexico.

Speaking before his departure from G7 summit in Quebec on Saturday morning, the U.S. president insists that either version of the trade deal must have one key feature -- a five-year sunset clause.

That leaves Trump diametrically opposed with Canada, which says renegotiating the deal every five years would create perpetual uncertainty and harm long-term investment.

Disagreement over the sunset clause was the deal breaker that scuttled a possible meeting between Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Washington late last month in an attempt to bring the NAFTA talks to a conclusion.

Vice President Mike Pence told Trudeau he would have to agree to that before Trump would agree to meet him.

Trudeau refused, and the meeting was off, but the lead ministers from both countries talked trade on the sidelines of the G7 leaders' talks on Friday

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