Author Topic: Canada-US Trade Relations  (Read 92670 times)

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Offline Brihard

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Re: Canada-US Trade Relations
« Reply #425 on: October 01, 2018, 15:48:35 »
Classic creating a pool of crap to swim in and coming out smelling like a rose. Trudeau should be buying lottery tickets and calling an early election before his inept luck runs out. From my perspective the US negotiators saved our asses because they really wanted a deal. Not because Trudeau and Freeland did a good job.

Kudos to the hard work and people behind the scenes that made this happen, despite the ineptitude, in the field of of negotiation, of our team leaders.

No, they stood their ground enough on the issues that matter, they let the clock run knowing a midterm is coming that may strip Trump of his ability to get Congress to ratify anything, they engaged Mexico as well as US congressional leaders to push for reason and compromise, and they achieved about as good a win as we could. I know you’re utterly unwilling to give our current government credit for anything, but on this they did a pretty good job.
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Offline AlexanderM

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Re: Canada-US Trade Relations
« Reply #426 on: October 01, 2018, 17:13:52 »
No, they stood their ground enough on the issues that matter, they let the clock run knowing a midterm is coming that may strip Trump of his ability to get Congress to ratify anything, they engaged Mexico as well as US congressional leaders to push for reason and compromise, and they achieved about as good a win as we could. I know you’re utterly unwilling to give our current government credit for anything, but on this they did a pretty good job.
Agreed! They did a very good job in a difficult situation.

Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: Canada-US Trade Relations
« Reply #427 on: October 01, 2018, 19:20:43 »
No, they stood their ground enough on the issues that matter, they let the clock run knowing a midterm is coming that may strip Trump of his ability to get Congress to ratify anything, they engaged Mexico as well as US congressional leaders to push for reason and compromise, and they achieved about as good a win as we could. I know you’re utterly unwilling to give our current government credit for anything, but on this they did a pretty good job.

Obviously,YMMV. I'm not as enamored with our leadership as you are. I don't believe our PM and Freeland are as smart and savvy as you do. You can opine as well as I can. It means nada to either of us. As I said earlier, I believe the back room negotiators, on both sides, made this happen despite the efforts of Trudeau and freeland. They weren't after a deal. They were after election points fighting with Trump. But that's just me, just like your retort holds no more weight or authority.
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Offline Brihard

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Re: Canada-US Trade Relations
« Reply #428 on: October 01, 2018, 19:33:56 »
I’m not enamoured do our leadership at all, and at this point I intend to vote against them. That notwithstanding, they pushed back against a bullying approach from the south, and they appear to have met with considerable success.

Freeland is no dummy- Rhodes Scholarships don’t come in boxes of cereal. She likely knows well enough to engage and listen to her experts, which gives her a significant advantage over trade negotiation by the diktat of Trump. In the end our government - again one I am generally unhappy with - has done quite well on this one. Credit where it is due.

Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

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Re: Canada-US Trade Relations
« Reply #429 on: October 01, 2018, 19:38:56 »
The only thing they did wrong was to not give up supply management and they didn't raise the de minimus high enough... it's so funny to me (the sad kind of funny) that our own gov't (of all stripes) continues to hurt Canadians with such self-inflicted, punitive protectionism.
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Offline AlexanderM

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Re: Canada-US Trade Relations
« Reply #430 on: October 01, 2018, 19:56:08 »
I’m not enamoured do our leadership at all, and at this point I intend to vote against them. That notwithstanding, they pushed back against a bullying approach from the south, and they appear to have met with considerable success.

Freeland is no dummy- Rhodes Scholarships don’t come in boxes of cereal. She likely knows well enough to engage and listen to her experts, which gives her a significant advantage over trade negotiation by the diktat of Trump. In the end our government - again one I am generally unhappy with - has done quite well on this one. Credit where it is due.
I didn't vote for JT but might next time based on how they handled this situation. The way they, for the most part, didn't react, didn't escalate and waited until Trump had to make a deal to save his own political life in November, which he may have done. The deal we got was acceptable and I see that as being a win.

Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: Canada-US Trade Relations
« Reply #431 on: October 01, 2018, 20:06:30 »
The only thing they did wrong was to not give up supply management and they didn't raise the de minimus high enough... it's so funny to me (the sad kind of funny) that our own gov't (of all stripes) continues to hurt Canadians with such self-inflicted, punitive protectionism.

Yup, a $20 increase in the de minimum to $40 was a clear winner for team trudeau. Canadians will be going to the US in droves to take advantage of that. ::) I never agreed with supply management in the first place, so I'm glad to see a chunk taken out of that. If it translates to lost vote for the grits, so much the better. It'll be interesting to see how Canada is going to deal with Chinese steel now that the tariffs take a bite out of dumping it in the US.
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Re: Canada-US Trade Relations
« Reply #432 on: October 01, 2018, 20:32:41 »
John Ivison: Trudeau's claim of victory in trade deal is hollow - Canada was played
https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/john-ivison-trudeaus-claim-of-victory-in-trade-deal-is-hollow-canada-was-played#

Today is a great day for Canada,” Justin Trudeau proclaimed, sounding like King Pyrrhus of Epirus, just after he lost the bulk of his army in battle against the Romans.

As with Pyrrhus, another victory like today and we will be utterly ruined."

More at link.

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Offline Remius

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Re: Canada-US Trade Relations
« Reply #433 on: October 01, 2018, 20:51:15 »
Chantal Hébert has a slightly different take on the deal.

https://www.thestar.com/politics/political-opinion/2018/10/01/trade-agreement-is-unlikely-to-hurt-liberal-fortunes.html

This in particular: “Even before Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer had issued a single comment, a host of Conservative luminaries had come out to commend the agreement — starting with former interim leader Rona Ambrose and former prime minister Brian Mulroney. Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister and Alberta Conservative Leader Jason Kenney also had good words for the deal.”
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Canada-US Trade Relations
« Reply #434 on: October 01, 2018, 21:05:20 »
I have the feeling there is a lot more than meets the eye. Some of the wording seemed a bit "weaselie" to me, particularly the issue of "Side Letters". Do these mean that issues like Chapter 19 are being revised out of sight/out of mind and Canada will find itself on the short end of the stick again? (A "Side Letter" review of Chapter 19 will essentially be the 5 year sunset clause the Americans insisted on all along). What else is being dealt with via "Side Letters"?

The only thing which this really does is provide a fig leaf for the Canadian negotiating team: they signed a deal (and look at how even the naming of the deal is worded-"United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement"), but there are a lot of things that are going to be changed via processes like Side Letters, and not to our liking.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: Canada-US Trade Relations
« Reply #435 on: October 01, 2018, 21:12:53 »
I was going to post Ivison's editorial, but recceguy beat me to it.  Its worth the read before we pop open the champagne bottles and call this a win.  That being said, I'm not sure if a Conservative Party government could have done any better: the administration to the South has demonstrated time and again that it has interests - its own - and not friends.  Leaders who tried to schmooze the President (Abe, Macron) got their fingers burnt.

Lesson to be learned?  As Ted Campbell continuously points out on his blog, we better work on diversifying our trade - if anything to reduce our vulnerability the next time this happens.
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Re: Canada-US Trade Relations
« Reply #436 on: October 02, 2018, 00:18:12 »
I don't think that it's being a Marxist unicorn which Trump doesn't like. I think he dislikes anyone who won't fawn on him and kiss his butt. He's not the type to be impressed with reasoned opposition.

I'm not sure if Conservatives could have gotten a better deal out of Trump because I, like you and most of us, have absolutely no idea what his end game was. This is a guy who given a name change from NAFTA to USMCA alone with nothing else would have spouted off that he's gained a massive victory and his base would have eaten it up as gospel truth. Giving him a few extra percentage points of milk quota put the icing on the cake.

From what I can see there are several changes which seem to have zero or negligible impact today but could have some effects a decade down the road as our respective economies grow or change. I think that the biggest target for critics of the Liberals in the coming days will be the notifications we will have to give if seeking a treaty with a "non-market economy" (i.e. China). Article 32.10 requires that a party give notice and is required to make various disclosures to other parties if seeking to make an agreement with such an entity. Some are criticizing this as a loss of sovereignty but I note that the article is reciprocal so the US has the same obligations to us and Mexico.

A copy of the agreement text is here:

https://ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/united-states-mexico-canada-agreement/united-states-mexico

I'm neither prepared to applaud nor chastise the Liberals on this one. Let's hope it works out okay in the end.

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« Last Edit: October 02, 2018, 17:39:01 by Infanteer »
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Offline Remius

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Re: Canada-US Trade Relations
« Reply #437 on: October 02, 2018, 06:31:40 »
Not really.  trump,started this. 

It’s over.  As far as I am concerned Canada stood firm against artificial deadlines and I am sure was ready to walk away knowing that the US needed a win on trade going into the midterms.  I am also sure that they read it right and to a gamble that Congress was not likely to back Trump’s bi lateral plan.

The anti Trudeau crowd was so sure that the Liberals wanted to scuttle the whole thing for political gain.  Well that didn’t happen.  I know it is hard to accept for some but they got it done and likely scored political points at the same time.  I guess some people didn’t see that coming.
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Offline Brihard

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Re: Canada-US Trade Relations
« Reply #438 on: October 02, 2018, 06:41:12 »
And don’t forget, we went into this with a gun to the head of our auto sector, after already suffering an attack - and I choose that word deliberately - on our steel and aluminum. Trump himself has spoken of a trade war. Well if it’s a war, Trump is on one side and Canada is on the other, and you can only pick one or the other. In the end, despite the blustering and threats, it appears the adults prevailed and we have at least reached a détent, though much remains to be seen.

Trump will continue to have his supporters and apologists here who value his politics above our own economy, and value his populism over common decency. It is what it is. We have at least come out of this one pretty OK, and given the strength the US wields and our utter economic dependence on them, we hav some key victories in the preservation of the dispute resolution and the built in tariff exemptions for cars. We weathered the storm well, and hopefully in another month he will lose Congress and we will be less subject to his petulant outbursts, at least in tangible terms.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Canada-US Trade Relations
« Reply #439 on: October 02, 2018, 09:08:27 »

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Re: Canada-US Trade Relations
« Reply #440 on: October 02, 2018, 09:31:30 »
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Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Canada-US Trade Relations
« Reply #441 on: October 02, 2018, 10:21:53 »


Admitting I'm no saint myself perhaps in the name of decorum in the politics threads we should try and avoid subtle jabs at one another?
« Last Edit: October 02, 2018, 11:02:54 by Jarnhamar »
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Re: Canada-US Trade Relations
« Reply #442 on: October 02, 2018, 11:57:37 »
I was going to post Ivison's editorial, but recceguy beat me to it.  Its worth the read before we pop open the champagne bottles and call this a win.  That being said, I'm not sure if a Conservative Party government could have done any better: the administration to the South has demonstrated time and again that it has interests - its own - and not friends.  Leaders who tried to schmooze the President (Abe, Macron) got their fingers burnt.

Lesson to be learned?  As Ted Campbell continuously points out on his blog, we better work on diversifying our trade - if anything to reduce our vulnerability the next time this happens.


+300 for the highlighted bit, and thanks for the plug ...

It is damned hard to diversify trade: the Americans are so close and, generally, despite the current POTUS, so open, and, also generally, so fair that it's hard to not want to put most of our trade eggs in their basket. They are, in most respects, just about our domestic market. In fact I suspect that one of Robert Lighthizer's aims is to "domesticate" Canada so that we are even more closely tied to the USA.

In this case geography is both a short term friend and, perhaps, a long term enemy.
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Re: Canada-US Trade Relations
« Reply #443 on: October 02, 2018, 12:26:23 »

+300 for the highlighted bit, and thanks for the plug ...

It is damned hard to diversify trade: the Americans are so close and, generally, despite the current POTUS, so open, and, also generally, so fair that it's hard to not want to put most of our trade eggs in their basket. They are, in most respects, just about our domestic market. In fact I suspect that one of Robert Lighthizer's aims is to "domesticate" Canada so that we are even more closely tied to the USA.

In this case geography is both a short term friend and, perhaps, a long term enemy.

Having now had a day and a half to think about this deal, I think Edward has it about right. As much as anyone can decern a US "strategy", I think it was to create a unified North American trading bloc where the US calls the shots.

Given what I have read about this deal and the quotas on future car imports from Canada; the 6 year review clause; the establishment of a bank rate committee and the requirement for any partner in the USMCA now to seek approval from the other partners if one is to sign free trade agreement outside of the deal, I think there is a significant loss of sovereignty for Canada. Maybe it is just a nod to reality.

It is now an interesting thought experiment, but what if Canada had gone to 2% GDP on defence and had bougt F35 and done BMD (and probably a few other things) would we have had a different deal? A better deal?

This is not just a Liberal problem- the Conservatives have under-funded defence at every possible chance, too. Both parties have taken their cues from an apathetic Canadian public that likes to be sovereign, but doesn't actually want to pay the freight.

Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: Canada-US Trade Relations
« Reply #444 on: October 02, 2018, 12:59:30 »
And don’t forget, we went into this with a gun to the head of our auto sector, after already suffering an attack - and I choose that word deliberately - on our steel and aluminum. Trump himself has spoken of a trade war. Well if it’s a war, Trump is on one side and Canada is on the other, and you can only pick one or the other. In the end, despite the blustering and threats, it appears the adults prevailed and we have at least reached a détent, though much remains to be seen.

Trump will continue to have his supporters and apologists here who value his politics above our own economy, and value his populism over common decency. It is what it is. We have at least come out of this one pretty OK, and given the strength the US wields and our utter economic dependence on them, we hav some key victories in the preservation of the dispute resolution and the built in tariff exemptions for cars. We weathered the storm well, and hopefully in another month he will lose Congress and we will be less subject to his petulant outbursts, at least in tangible terms.

"Trump will continue to have his supporters and apologists here who value his politics above our own economy, and value his populism over common decency."

Whoa, who are you speaking of in this quote of yours? I'm confused and need clarification on who the indecent Trump apologist to Canada is (that's what you were going for, right?). This sounds very much like a personal attack on someone here. Someone you don't agree with, but instead of discussing, you attack their patriotism and political belief because of a personal bias you have with them and their ideas. Not something I'd expect from someone of your profession. However, that's why I asked for clarification, from the horse's mouth.

Much like when people lie through their teeth about someone being a very hard, long time far right supporter. Trying to paint that person as a supremacist or a racist or something they are not.

Have I got that right? Just need some clarification, is all. I resigned as a Moderator and I'm feeling my way around as a normal poster. I'm planning on being here a whole bunch more and need to see exactly where the line is. I need to know if writing, something like you did, even if that person is not identified by name (though common knowledge, here, identifies them) would be considered a sideways slap that would get someone else warned. Given your propensity for the technique, your past Moderator experience and the senior member stature you hold, I'm guessing you're not breaking any rules.

This info will help me form a writing style that gets my point(s) across without getting in trouble. Thanks for the help :mountie:




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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Canada-US Trade Relations
« Reply #445 on: October 02, 2018, 13:10:36 »
I will ahve to disagree with you FJAG, in the sense that "we" did not know what the Americans wanted. Once you discount the big opening moves to uput us off balance, there are several things which the US clearly is looking to achieve with the current round of trade negotiations:

1. Replacing multilateral deals with bilateral deals. This provides far more flexibility for the President and the Congress to make adjustments to trade deals, without having to drag all and sundry into the negotiations. This is likely to be retained by future administrations because of the ability to tailor deals to reflect changing conditions.

2. Reduce US trade deficits. This is a long standing issue with President Trump, you can find a YouTube video of him saying exactly the same thing in 1989 on the Oprah Winfrey Show (and the audience then was actually listening to this with a great deal of interest and respect). Any trade deal or renegotiated one will have to provide the openings for US goods and services to be traded on a more "equitable" basis. If you think that is selfish or foolish, remember the saying that nations have no permanent friends and allies, only permanent interests. The US is looking out for a permanent interest.

3. Hampering the expansion of Chinese military, political and economic power. This is actually far more subtle than people are willing to give credit for. China exports far more to the United States than it imports, so tariffs work asymmetrically. As well, China's economy is heavily invested in exporting, anything which slows the flow of exports also slows the Chinese economy. Edward has told us at length that the "Red Dynasty's Mandate from Heaven" relies on continuing economic growth. Since China is also heavily leveraged, there could be follow on consequences to slowing economic growth as well.

4. Closing back doors. China uses Canada as a back door to enter the American market tariff free, and the Administration was determined to close that door.

On this side, Canada has failed rather spectacularly.

1. We knew this was coming as far back as the 2016 election campaign, but the actions of the negotiating team are those of people thrown into the game at the last minute.

2. Canada has not cleared the decks internally to deal with possible fallout of NAFTA negotiations. We have no internal Free Trade between provinces. Our Hydrocarbon industry is crippled and Canada loses billions of dollars in potential revenues because there are no pipelines to bring oil to markets (and adding insult to injury, we still need to spend billions more importing foreign oil....)

3. Canada's negotiating team seems to have no understanding of US domestic politics. They looked for support from Bob Corker and Jeff Flake, despite the fact these are lame duck senators, with very limited ability left to advance our cause in the Congress. They also failed to understand that NAFTA and jobs is a huge domestic issue in the United States, and President Trump could play it very hard, especially against Senators and Congressmen who were inclined to vote against the new trade deal. Nothing like having angry constituents at your door.

4. Canada also seems to have no plan "B". We have hardly taken advantage of being in  the TPP or CETA (indeed Andrew Sheer tried to get a special session of Parliament to debate the issue), and I hardly have to point out that Canada was essentially kicked to the curb by both China and India when seeking new trade deals. If we knew that NAFTA might be a difficult issue, then there should have been a full court press to fully diversify our trade. Currently, 75% of our exports go to the United States and that makes about 20% of our GDP. The math is apocalyptic. And placing tariffs against the US? The amount of GDP they get from exports to us is about 1%; a rounding error.

So we, or at least people who paid attention, knew what the US wanted in the negotiations, and also knew just what level of disadvantage we were going into. Yet despite that, we failed to prepare for the negotiations either internally or externally, and so will be paying the price for a long time to come.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: Canada-US Trade Relations
« Reply #446 on: October 02, 2018, 13:26:07 »
Too bad the world didn't have the gonads to take Trump up on his offer of zero tariff 100% free trade. But that would be true capitalism in action. Markets and goods sold and traded, more and more, based on quality and expense and what people want. Not what the government wants. Shysters and cheap goods eventually fall by the wayside to become the Made in Japan junk products of the 50's.
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Re: Canada-US Trade Relations
« Reply #447 on: October 02, 2018, 13:37:05 »
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: Canada-US Trade Relations
« Reply #448 on: October 02, 2018, 14:08:13 »
Read the article and digest what that really means.....

I didn't study international trade in school. So, how much credibility can I give a blogger named "sundance"?
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Offline Remius

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Re: Canada-US Trade Relations
« Reply #449 on: October 02, 2018, 14:15:14 »
I didn't study international trade in school. So, how much credibility can I give a blogger named "sundance"?

True.  But the article has merit.

This from MacLean's touches on the same issue amongst others. 

https://www.macleans.ca/opinion/the-usmca-keeps-canada-in-americas-thrall/

Also Thucydides gets a special mention in the article  ;D
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