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All About NAFTA and Other Trade Wars

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So far Dudley Do Right has **bleep** off a number of other countries by attempting to jam his cultural POV down their throats. He is definitely facing in the wrong direction in the opinion of many countries including a number of our allies.  I wonder if his advisors will rein him in?



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Sounds like others may jump onboard. It one thing to stand up for one of our citizens but you do have to question why we would attempt to interfere when the subject is not a citizen of Canadian and only the spouse of a  Canadian citizen. It is really none of our business as a country. 

Saudi Arabia's moves against Canada expected to resonate in region

Saudi Arabia's decision to expel Canada's ambassador and freeze new trade deals will resonate domestically and send a clear message to other countries, including those in the region, analysts said Monday.

Other countries in Middle East could welcome 'getting tough on Canada'

The Canadian Press · Posted: Aug 06, 2018 2:38 PM ET | Last Updated: 14 minutes ago
Analysts say the move to expel Canada's ambassador and stop trade will resonate in the Middle East as 'getting tough on Canada.' (David Kawai/Canadian Press)


Saudi Arabia's decision to expel Canada's ambassador and freeze new trade deals will resonate domestically and send a clear message to other countries, including those in the region, analysts said Monday.

Saudi Arabia announced the measures Sunday, days after Global Affairs Canada tweeted its concern about the arrests of civil society and women's rights activists in the country.

Bessma Momani, an analyst on Middle East affairs and professor at the University of Waterloo, said the move resonates positively among Saudis, but also among the country's allies in the region.

Momani called it "getting tough on Canada", which she said other countries in the region might welcome if they view Canadian foreign policy to be led by human rights concerns.

There could be a sentiment among allies that, "Finally the Trudeau government is getting poked back in the eye by the Saudis."

At the same time, it sends a strong message to European and Middle Eastern countries that they shouldn't "mess" with Saudi Arabia, said Thomas Juneau, a professor at the University of Ottawa.

"There is a clear, uniquely Saudi dimension to this in the sense that in the last three years Saudi Arabia has been behaving very aggressively and assertively in the Middle East," he said, noting the blockade of Qatar and the war in Yemen.

"For Saudi Arabia to punish Canada, it's fairly easy because we're not an important country for them, either are they for us," he said, noting that it sends a message to others that it will not accept criticism.

Global Affairs Canada had tweeted, "Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women's rights activists in Saudi Arabia, including Samar Badawi. We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful human rights activists."

'Attempt to interfere with our internal affairs'

The Saudi foreign ministry ordered Canada's ambassador, Dennis Horak, to leave the country and called the use of "immediately release" in Canada's tweet "unfortunate, reprehensible, and unacceptable in relations between states."

It also said, "Any other attempt to interfere with our internal affairs from Canada, means that we are allowed to interfere in Canada's internal affairs."

Amnesty International has said Badawi, the sister of jailed blogger Raif Badawi, was recently detained along with Nassima al-Sada, another prominent female activist.

Ensaf Haidar, Raif Badawi's wife, in her apartment in Sherbrooke, Que. Canada's call for the release of Badawi and his sister Samar, who are currently imprisoned in Saudi Arabia, may have sparked the recent diplomatic dispute. (Sylvia Thomson/CBC)

In a statement released Monday, Amnesty International called on the broader international community to follow Canada's lead and stand up for human rights abuses, especially countries with influence in Saudi Arabia such as the U.S., France and the U.K.

"The world cannot continue to look the other way as this relentless persecution of human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia continues. It is now time for other governments to join Canada in increasing the pressure on Saudi Arabia to release all prisoners of conscience immediately and unconditionally, and end the crackdown on freedom of expression in the country," the statement said.

Lynn Maloof, Middle East research director for Amnesty International, told CBC News the organization is still hoping for "strong condemnation" of Saudi Arabia's actions.

"We are hoping Canada is setting a precedent now and a model that would have other Western allies support with it, stand with it and support the Saudi crackdown," she said.

Regardless of how allies and others are perceiving the measure, it has rallied support among Saudis, said Momani, adding that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia has a very young nationalistic base, many of whom have taken to Twitter to celebrate the decision and simultaneously criticize Canada.

Economic impact still unknown

Because the statement Sunday from Saudi Arabia said new trade deals will freeze, it is difficult to determine what the economic impact will be, said Juneau, adding that the fate of Canada's arms deal, which includes providing armoured vehicles to the country, is still unknown.

On one hand, it would be a bad scenario to cancel the $15-billion arms deals, but on the other, many human rights groups have criticized Canada's decision to sell armoured vehicles to a regime with a "horrible human rights record," Juneau said.

Marie-Pier Baril, a spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Sunday that the department is concerned by media reports and is seeking clarity on the statement from Saudi Arabia.

"Canada will always stand up for the protection of human rights, very much including women's rights, and freedom of expression around the world," she said, adding, "Our government will never hesitate to promote these values and believes that this dialogue is critical to international diplomacy."

Freeland is scheduled to hold a news conference on the issue at 4 p.m. ET on Monday.



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Could this also be a tactic to stem the flow of immigrants from the area, knowing they are against LGBTQ rights?

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4 minutes ago, deicer said:

Could this also be a tactic to stem the flow of immigrants from the area, knowing they are against LGBTQ rights?

Not bloody likely, …………………………...

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and the beat goes on:

 You have to wonder where the righteous indignation was when the Libs OK'd the sale of armoured military vehicles to Saudi Arabia? 


Canada's arms deal with Saudi Arabia includes 'heavy assault' vehicles

Canada’s multi-billion dollar arms sale to Saudi Arabia includes a substantial number of “heavy assault” armoured vehicles and a maintenance deal that would see the Ontario-based manufacturer embed teams at multiple locations throughout the kingdom.

'These are combat-ready vehicles and certainly not the jeeps that the government once told us that they were'


Saudi Arabia state airline suspends flights in and out of Toronto amid intensifying diplomatic row with Canada



Saudi Arabia's state airline has suspended flights in and out of Toronto amid an intensifying diplomatic row with Canada. 

Earlier on Monday, Ottawa refused to back down in its defence of human rights after Riyadh froze new trade and investment and expelled the Canadian ambassador in retaliation for the country's call to free arrested Saudi civil society activists.


In her first public response to Saudi Arabia's actions, foreign minister Chrystia Freeland said, "Let me be very clear... Canada will always stand up for human rights in Canada and around the world, and women's rights are human rights."

The airline, Saudia, made the announcement on its Twitter account that it was suspending flights from the 13 August. 

The news prompted users to ask how Saudis already on holiday in Canada were going to get back.

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8 hours ago, Malcolm said:

I wonder if his advisors will rein him in?

It is his advisers that are advising the words that he is saying.

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38 minutes ago, Fido said:

It is his advisers that are advising the words that he is saying.

Are you sure?  There are some who think he is more autocratic than our previous PM and does exactly what he wants despite any advice to the contrary.  But I guess if that is wrong and he is indeed a puppet, we are in even bigger trouble.

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Breaking a few eggsDonald Trump stomps on Canada’s economy

To avoid further damage, Justin Trudeau may have to stop coddling farmers


 Print edition | The Americas

Jun 16th 2018| OTTAWA

ALL dishes on the lunch menu at La Cantine du Centre-Ville, a pop-up restaurant near Parliament Hill in Ottawa, are made from ingredients that annoy Donald Trump. The Mini-Quiche aux Trois Fromages uses Canadian eggs, milk, cheese and chicken “bacon”; the Galette de Saucisse de Dinde is made with turkey. The Cantine pops up every year to publicise Canadian dairy, poultry and eggs, which are protected by import quotas and tariffs. This year’s version, on June 12th, was festive, with banners flapping under a blue sky and diners enjoying free food. But the people wearing “Ask me, I’m a farmer” T-shirts are worried.

They fear that they will be the next casualties in the trade war that Mr Trump is waging against the United States’ allies. With good reason. The 25% tariff the United States slapped on steel this month, and the 10% levy on aluminium, apply to imports from Canada as well as from Mexico and Europe. Canada, like the others, will retaliate by raising tariffs on goods, like toilet paper and lawnmowers, made in regions that matter politically to Mr Trump. The renegotiation that Mr Trump demanded of the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which includes the United States, Mexico and Canada, drags on. The economy is already suffering. To avoid further damage, Canada may have to stop coddling farmers.


Few economies are more vulnerable to Mr Trump’s onslaught than Canada’s. Two-thirds of its trade is with its southern neighbour. The steel and aluminium tariffs affect industries that employ 30,000 Canadians. The C.D. Howe Institute, a think-tank, predicts that the barriers will cost 6,000 jobs and reduce Canada’s GDP by 0.11%. If Mr Trump carries out his threat to impose a 25% tariff on cars the damage will be far greater. Canada’s vehicle industry employs about 130,000 people and ships 85% of its wares to the United States.

In the face of such threats the value of Canada’s dollar has fallen from 80 cents in mid-April to 77 cents. Economists had expected business investment to take over as the main source of growth from spending by consumers, who have record levels of debt. But investors, unsure they will be able to continue exporting freely to the United States, are holding back. The central bank cited this as one reason it did not raise interest rates on May 30th.


At first, Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, had hoped to win leniency by charming the volatile American president. That tactic failed in spectacular fashion after the G7 summit on June 8th and 9th hosted by Mr Trudeau in La Malbaie, Quebec. When Mr Trudeau defended Canada’s riposte to the steel and aluminium tariffs in a press conference at the end of the summit, Mr Trump tweeted that he was “very dishonest & weak” and accused him of making “false statements”.

Canada gamely argues that the United States would also be hurt in a trade war. Canada is the biggest destination for exports from 36 of the 50 American states. Bilateral trade in goods and services is immense: $674bn in 2017. It is also, despite what Mr Trump says, balanced. In 2017 the United States had a small surplus with Canada, of $8.4bn. Yet Mr Trudeau’s bargaining position is weak. “We absolutely need them, but they could live without us,” says Philip Cross, an economist.

Mr Trudeau must pick his battles. In the NAFTA negotiations Canada and Mexico are resisting an American demand for a “sunset clause”, which would require re-approval of the accord every five years and thus discourage long-term investment. Mr Trudeau cancelled a meeting with Mr Trump last month because the Americans made acceptance of a sunset clause a precondition. Mr Trudeau is also defending NAFTA’s dispute-settlement rules while trying to roll back the steel and aluminium tariffs and forestall new ones on vehicles.

Playing chicken

But to stop investment and jobs from moving south, “Canada is going to have to make some concessions,” says Laura Dawson, head of the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Centre in Washington, DC. Among them might be raising the threshold at which Canada taxes purchases of American goods from C$20 to around C$1,000, the American level. Canada might consent to more onerous conditions for a vehicle to be imported duty-free within NAFTA, including on wages and the amount of North American content.

To appease Mr Trump, Mr Trudeau may have to pamper farmers less, which is a good idea anyway but politically perilous. Canada’s system of supply management, which sets limits on the production of dairy, poultry and eggs, has long irritated the United States (and should anger Canadians, who pay more for food than they need to). Canada subjects imports of those products beyond a ceiling to punishing tariffs (298% in the case of butter). Mr Trump has been angry about this since he met dairy farmers from Wisconsin in April 2017. When he repudiated by tweet the agreement with other G7 countries he blamed in part Canada’s “massive tariffs” on American farmers. Pierre Lampron, head of the Dairy Farmers of Canada, says Mr Trump is trying to wipe out Canadian farmers.

Canada points out that American farm subsidies almost match its own (see chart). So far, such arguments have not moved Mr Trump. Mr Trudeau has already indicated that Canada has “flexibility” on dairy, the biggest of the protected sectors. In negotiations with other trade partners, it has offered a bit more access to those sectors and compensated farmers. Canadian negotiators have reportedly offered similar concessions to the United States, which said they were insufficient. Marcel Laviolette, an egg producer from a village near Ottawa, expects Canada to concede more. Although most of the discussion has been about dairy, he fears that poultry and egg producers will also lose protection. “If that train goes by, it’s going to hit us all,” he says.


Mr Trump’s aggression has inspired rare unity in Canada. The House of Commons unanimously passed a motion backing Mr Trudeau’s decision to retaliate against steel and aluminium tariffs. Doug Ford, a populist newly elected to be Ontario’s premier, said he stands shoulder-to-shoulder with him in defending jobs in the province. If Mr Trudeau picks a fight with farmers to save the economy, however, this moment of unity will soon pass.


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‎Today, ‎August ‎9, ‎2018, ‏‎18 minutes ago

Trade talks with Canada proving ‘really, really difficult,’ with little progress: U.S. NAFTA negotiator

‎Today, ‎August ‎9, ‎2018, ‏‎40 minutes ago | Tom Blackwell

WASHINGTON, D.C. Trade negotiations with Canada have been “really, really difficult,” achieving no substantial progress so far, says one of the United States’ top negotiators, offering a new glimpse at NAFTA-related tensions between the two countries.

Gregg Doud, the chief U.S. agriculture negotiator, contrasted the Canadian stance with what he suggested was smooth sailing in talks with Mexico, according to agriculture-media coverage of a speech he made this week in Michigan.

The negotiations with Mexico to update the free trade agreement, which resumed Thursday morning in Washington, are “going as well as we can possibly expect right now,” he was quoted as saying by the Hagstrom Report.

“I think we are going to get there with Mexico in a relatively short order.”

The third NAFTA partner is a different matter, Doud told an American Sugar Alliance event in in Traverse City, Mich.

“Canada, O Canada, is what you want to say,” the trade official said, according to a report by Food Business News and Hagstrom. He said long-standing agriculture issues with the Canadians have still not been resolved, an apparent reference to American objections to Canadian supply-management systems for dairy and poultry.

U.S. negotiators “haven’t had market access conversations with Canada of any substance,” the Hagstrom Report quoted Doud as saying. Talks have been “really, really difficult … We have to go to get to a situation where we can bring Canada on board and wrap this thing up.”

Asked about the reports, the office of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer raised no objections to their accuracy.

Doud’s comments echo those of Lighthizer himself, who told U.S. senators recently that he was close to a deal with Mexico, but that Canada has not been as willing to compromise.

Canadian embassy spokespeople could not be reached for comment.

Canadian officials have said talk of their alleged inflexibility is simply a negotiating or public-relations tactic by the Americans, and that President Donald Trump’s chief concern about NAFTA is the large American trade deficit with Mexico. They say they have not been part of the U.S.-Mexico talks over the past three weeks because those countries have complex bilateral issues to resolve.

That viewpoint seemed to be confirmed Thursday by Ildefonso Guajardo, Mexico’s economy minister, as he entered the USTR offices for another round of negotiations without Canada. The National Post asked if Canadian officials would be part of the discussions next week.

“Hopefully, but we have to make sure the U.S. and Mexico bilaterals are done,” said Guajardo.

As he left the meeting about two-and-a-half hours later, the minister said the two parties are “as close as possible (to a deal), but we’re still working on it.”

The Mexican delegation has said little about the details of their talks with Lighthizer. But sources say they are near to agreement on the key U.S. demands that more of the content of automobiles imported duty-free under NAFTA be made in North America, and by workers earning at least $16 an hour.

Still unresolved is the U.S. request for a sunset clause that would require the agreement to be re-approved every five years. That’s a red line for both Canada and Mexico – and some U.S. senators and congressmen – who believe it would create uncertainty and deter new investment.

“We are organizing the items by degree of complexity, and sunset will be one of the very last,” Guajardo said Thursday.

More Mexico-U.S. negotiations were scheduled for Friday.

• Email: | Twitter: tomblackwellNP

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Trump says progress made toward trade deal with Mexico, but 'Canada must wait'

  • "Canada must wait. Their Tariffs and Trade Barriers are far too high. Will tax cars if we can't make a deal!" U.S. President Donald Trump said.
Published 9 Hours Ago Reuters


Joshua Roberts | Reuters
President Donald Trump on July 26, 2018. 

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that the United States and Mexico were making progress on a trade deal, and warned Canada he would tax their auto exports if an agreement cannot be reached with Ottawa.

"Deal with Mexico is coming along nicely. Autoworkers and farmers must be taken care of or there will be no deal. New President of Mexico has been an absolute gentleman," Trump said on Twitter.


"Canada must wait. Their Tariffs and Trade Barriers are far too high. Will tax cars if we can't make a deal!" he said


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